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MUSART VALLEY *-.-.,.* ^i 



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MUSART VALLEY. . . . . . 245 









INDEX 287 

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AND 1903 



When in 1892, on a journey into Central Asia, 
I first made acquaintance with a small portion 
of the Central Tian-Shan, I received, even by 
a mere flying visit, abiding impressions of its 
magnificent mountain chains. Later on, these 
impressions were renewed through reading the 
masterly descriptions of the celebrated Tian- 
Shan pioneer, P. P. Semenoff, and through study 
of the reports of his successors, N. A. Severzoff 
and J. W. Mushketoff, who have earned for 
themselves high honour by their researches. The 
desire was accordingly kindled in me to gain more 
accurate insight into the highest regions of this 
mountain chain and its glaciers, and also to con- 
tribute somewhat to their exploration. 

Extensive travels, however, in other mountain 


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lands and labours of large compass in other fields 
barred the way for ten years to the gratification 
of my desire. At length in January, 1902, during 
my stay in the Russian capital, the initiatory steps 
were taken. There, encouraged by the assured 
support of the Imperial Russian Geographical 
Society, especially its President, his Imperial 
Highness the Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich, 
and its Acting President, Senator P. P. Semenofi^, 
I determined to start that year on my travels 
into the Tian-Shan. SemenoflTs valued counsels 
and the study of the rich Russian literature on that 
moimtain chain, handed over to me most oblig- 
ingly by the Secretary of the Imperial Russian 
Geographical Society, Prof. Grigorieff, confirmed 
me in my opinion that one summer would not 
suffice for the accomplishment of any substantial 
result in the high regions of the Central Tian- 
Shan, so extensive and so difficult of access, but 
that, first and foremost, experience would have 
to be gathered respecting the technical difficulties, 
awaiting the explorer in ice-and-snow regions of 
quite a unique type. From the first, therefore, 
I was resolved to devote at least two years to 
the enterprise. 

Our knowledge of the orographical and geo- 
logical structure and of the flora and fauna of 
the Tian-Shan has been enriched by many eminent 
Russian explorers. Its highest regions, however, 
buried in snow and ice, had hitherto remained 
but very imperfectly known. A more thorough 
exploration was needed to answer the many 

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questions, respecting the structure of the central 
parts, which a glance into the existing maps at 
once called forth, and to throw light on many 
dark points in the later history of the mighty 
configuration of the chain. Our knowledge, 
again, of the glaciers of Central Tian-Shan has 
been greatly increased, more particularly by the 
explorations of A. W. von Kaulbars, and by the 
expedition of I. W. Ignatie£f and A. M. Krassno£f, 
fraught in many respects as it was with important 
results. There still, however, remained much, 
particularly in respect of the largest glaciers, 
craving elucidation. In order to explore extensive 
glacier regions and their environment, and to 
unravel the complex structiu-e of the parts not 
easily surveyable, it is necessary to follow up the 
glacier valleys to their head and to climb peaks 
of great elevation with a view to obtaining a 
comprehensive plan and orientation. For such a 
task three prime requisites were wanting to my 
predecessors : practice, experience, and outfit. It 
seemed to me therefore imperative to enlist 
" Alpinism " in the service of geographical science 
in the Tian-Shan, in accordance with the example 
of so many travellers of brilliant accomplishment 
in other regions of lofty mountains. I accord- 
ingly invited to join me in my enterprise one 
of the best approved of modem Alpinists, the 
engineer Hans Pfann, of Munich, a truly valu- 
able aid, and further engaged a young and 
vigorous Tyrolese mountain guide, to whom, the 
following year, was added a second guide. 

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By way of special provision for the geological 
service of the expedition, and with a view to 
amassing a palaeontological collection, I secured 
the assistance of a young and energetic geologist, 
not to be daunted by difficulties in the ground 
to be surmounted. Prof. Steinmann, of Freiburg, 
Baden, was good enough to recommend to me 
one of his pupils and assistants, the young 
geologist Herr Hans Keidel, who on my invita- 
tion joined the expedition. With the trusty 
support of such assistants I might hope to obtain 
some data of value in the service of science. 

Unfortunately the time assigned to the pre- 
paration of an undertaking of such compass, 
extending over so long a period, for procuring 
and testing the indispensable instruments, 
apparatus, and manifold outfit, was all too scantily 
allotted. Only by dint of feverish exertion and 
the active help of self-sacrificing friends, among 
whom I will name only the celebrated mountain 
photographer, Cavaliere Vittorio SeUa of Biella 
and the Caucasian explorer, M. von Ddchy in 
Odessa, was the expedition for 1902 set on foot 
in tolerable time, though, indeed, several weeks 
later than desirable. 

In this report, written in Tashkent, immediately 
after the return of the expedition from the 
moimtains,^ it is of course impossible for me to 

' This report was despatched from Tashkent on April 18th, 
1904^ long before the publication of the narratives of Dr. Fried- 
richsen (^' Forschungsreisen in den Central Han-schan a. Dsnnga- 
rischen Ala-tan " : MUtkeihmgen der OeographUchen OeselUchaft in 
Hamborg, Bd. XX. August 1904) and 8igr. Giulio Brocherel ('' In Asia 

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render an exact account of all the work done 
throughout this long and toilsome journey, 
or to communicate all the observations of 
scientific interest. The purpose of this report 
is rather to give particulars of the itinerary 
of the expedition and a general narrative of its 
experiences, especially those new or hitherto 
unknown. The more elaborate digest, embody- 
ing comprehensive deductions, must be reserved 
to a later date after the rich collections, amassed 
by the expedition, have been scientifically exam- 
ined and arranged ; this latter task will, however, 
presumably claim a lengthened period of time. 
Accordingly, the more detailed report of the 
journey, for which Herr Keidel has undertaken 
the elaboration of the geological and geotectonic 
part, can hardly be published till a somewhat 
remote date. It seemed therefore advisable to 
give in the preliminary report rather more than 
a bare enumeration of data and to render it at 
least a provisional picture of the districts traversed. 
In this report I have endeavoured more particularly 
to embody observations on the present and past 
glacier conditions of the Tian-Shan and on 
peculiarities in the physical features of its valley 

Centrale " : BoUettino delta SocieUL Oeografica ItaUana : July 1904), when 
I had not the slightest knowledge of the results of the former or even 
of the routes followed hjr the Italian ezpeditioti. Hence no reference 
to either publication will be found in the present report^ the appearance 
of which would have been too long delayed, had I attempted to 
incorporate comparative notes after my return. Moreover, I was 
quite unaware, when writing my report, that several valleys and 
localities, to which I had every reason to suppose mine to be the 
first viait, had been previously reached by the Italian expedition. 

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formations; subjects to which, throughout the 
expedition, my attention was specially directed. 
On the other hand, in order not to give to the 
report a compass which would retard its publication, 
botanical, zoological, and climatological observations 
will have to be almost wholly omitted. 

The quoted figures incorporated in the report 
will of course be taken as of only approximate 
validity, and are stated in round numbers, seeing 
it will require some considerable time till the 
different calculations in question have been com- 
pleted. The various heights given will be accepted 
as having only at most an approximate validity 
relatively to one another. 

On May 15th I left Munich, accompanied by 
Herren Hans Pfann and Hans Keidel, joined at 
Vienna by the previously engaged moimtain guide, 
Franz Kostner, of Corvara ; we thence repaired to 
Odessa, whither had been despatched the larger 
part of the luggage. Here we were detained a 
few days in complying with the Custom-house 
formalities and takir^ over the provisions of con- 
serves, biscuit, etc., which, thanks to friendly 
assistance, were already awaiting us. Owing to 
the fact that the Imperial Russian Ministry of 
Finance had obligingly granted free entry to 
my outfit, instruments, apparatus, etc., the trans- 
actions with the Custom-house were rapidly settled. 
The stay, moreover, in Odessa till the departure 
of the steamer was made gratefid to us by the 
amiable hospitalities of the noted explorer, M. 
von D^chy, and of the Crimea-Caucasian Mountain 

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Club and its most courteous and helpfid President, 
Prof. Ilovaisky. 

On May 25th we landed at Batum, and thence 
proceeded to Tiflis, where we were again delayed 
a few days. There I received maps, most kindly 
left for me by the chief of the Topographical 
Department of the Ordnance staff in St. Peters- 
burg, Lieut.-General von Stubendorf. There, too, 
all my instruments were retested at the Observatory. 

At Tiflis I had the high honour of a reception 
from the President of the Imperial Russian Geo- 
graphical Society, his Imperial Highness the 
Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich. As his 
Imperial Highness had in Petersburg facilitated for 
me the introductory steps to the expedition, he 
took a warm interest also in its development and 
assured me of his further assistance. 

After being joined at Tiflis by the Preparator, 
E. Russel, of Piatigorsk, the expedition next pro- 
ceeded, vid Baku, to Ejrasnovodsk, and then, by 
the Trans-Caspian railway, to Tashkent. There, in 
consequence of letters of recommendation from the 
Imperial Russian Ministry of Foreign A flairs and 
War, and thanks to the letter of accreditation of 
the Imperial Russian Geographical Society, I met 
with the friendliest reception from his Excellency 
the Governor-General of Turkestan, Lieut.- 
G^neral Ivanofil In the most handsome manner 
oflicial papers were given me, ensuring me the 
support of aU authorities in the Russian lands to 
be traversed by me. 

Seeing the expedition was to extend over two 

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years, the provisions and materials of different 
kinds had to be divided, and the part intended for 
the second year packed and forwarded to Kashgar. 
Thanks to the active support of my revered friend 
Herr R. Schubert in Tashkent, this and other 
affairs were happily disposed of. On June 9th, 
therefore, the expedition of five persons, now 
hea\dly encumbered with luggage, was enabled to 
enter on its lumbering tarantass-passage through 
the Central Asiatic steppes. 

While I was on my way alone from Pishpek, 
which I left on June 18th, to Vemoie, there to 
present myself to the District Governor of 
Semirechensk, his Excellency Lieut -General 
lonoff, and to receive from him special letters 
of introduction to the authorities under his 
administration, Herren Pfann and Keidel made an 
excursion to the Alexander Mountains, climbing 
one of the highest peaks. Meanwhile, under 
charge of Kostner and Russel, the heavy luggage 
was farther carried by Dunganian carters to 
Przhevakk. On June 24th I rejoined my fellow- 
travellers in Tokmak, whence our march lay 
along the north bank of Lake Issyk Kul to 
Przhevalsk. There I had the pleasure of en- 
countering the expedition of Prof. Saposhnikoff, 
of Tomsk, and its members, among them Dr. 
M. Friedrichsen, of Hamburg. Friendly greetings 
were exchanged. At first I was under some 
apprehensions, lest the Russian expedition and 
mine might clash in their respective routes through 
the high mountains — a contretemps which in the 

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interest of science would be all the more regret- 
table, inasmuch as in the extensive and little- 
explored Tian-Shan there was ample room for the 
exploratory enterprise of more than one expedition. 
At once Prof. Saposhnikoff frankly communi- 
cated to me his progranune, and we found that 
our routes would only cross each other in the 
Sary-jass valley at the foot of the SemenoflF glacier. 
Asy moreover, the Russian expedition had assigned 
to that strip of the mountain chain no more than 
a few days — quite insufficient for a thorough 
exploration of the Semenoff glacier, included as 
an essential item in my programme — my appre- 
hensions were happily shown to be groundless. 

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A SERIOUS drawback to the progress of our 
expedition was the delay for nearly a week of 
the arrival of our luggage at Przhevalsk. Not 
till July 2nd was our advance by the San-tash 
pass to Karkara begun. In crossing the pass 
(7,200 ft. ; 2,155 m.) made known to the world 
by SemenoiFand Serverzoff, we had the opportunity 
of gathering in our first carboniferous fossils in the 
Tian-Shan. On the descent of the pass, which 
leads through extensive tertiary deposits, one 
comes up on the first indications of glacier forma- 
tion in this region: porphyry granite and syenite 
blocks transported thither by ice from the heights 
of Kungeu and Kuuluk-Tau. Soon after, on the 
descent from the tertiary sandstone heights at 
Taldy-bulak, the wide, green-mantled, ancient lake- 
floor of Karkara (6,000 ft.) is seen below, encom- 
passed on the south by a long, many-peaked, 
calcareous chain (Bash-ogly-tagh), bearing on it 
small glaciers, and towering above the lake-floor 
to a height of 4,500 ft. (1,200 m.). On its 

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margin the ancient lake-terraces are in good 

On the north and north-west the wide basin is 
enclosed by low, flat tertiary ridges, offshoots of 
the Chul-adyr, behind which crop up here and 
there the much more considerable heights of 
Ketmen-Tau. On the south-west edge of the 
basin, in these tertiary deposits, considered 
hitherto deprived of fossils, Herr Keidel had 
the rare good fortune to collect a small fauna, 
which may prove of great importance for the 
determination of a part at least of these tertiary 

Alpine meadows, dressed in flora of surpassing 
beauty, adorn the wide, high-lying floor, strewn 
with debris. In its midst there rises up every 
year, from May to October, a spacious town of 
metal houses and wooden booths — ^the famous 
yearly market, that is of such great importance 
to the extraordinarily numerous Kirghiz population 
of the Tekes, Chalkody-su, Kegen, and Charyn 
region. Thousands of Kirghiz tents collect in 
a wide circle around the wooden town. This 
is the mart where the Kirghiz exchange their 
products of wool, hides, sheep, and horses for the 
manufactured goods, exposed for sale by dealers 
mostly of Tartar race. Here, in a secluded green 
Alpine bottom, completely withdrawn from the 
highways of the world, walled in by mountain 
chains glittering in glacier snow, the traveller may 
admire a lively tumult of business and contemplate 
modes of commerce, belonging to an epoch of 

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culture, unknown for centuries past in Europe. 
Here he may study scenes of a picturesque charm, 
not to be easily surpassed anywhere else. During 
the four months of the yearly market the seat 
of the administrative authorities of the r^ons in 
question is transferred to this spot It thus 
happened that the head of the Narynkol district, 
J. I. Likhanoff, on whom depended the future 
fate of the expedition, had his official seat at this 
odd market-town. Here the greater part of the 
riding- and packhorses, as also the saddles, covers, 
headgear, etc., appertaining thereto, had to be 
bought. Here, too, a number of Kirghiz " Jigits " 
(troops serving for escort) familiar with the moun- 
tain routes and some porters from the discharged 
Narynkol Kossacks had to be engaged. The safe 
transport of later supplies of provisions to the 
high mountain regions and many other matters 
had to be settled. Thanks to the energetic support 
of Herr Likhanoff, these affairs were satisfactorily 
disposed of in a few days. 

On July 7th I was able to continue my march 
to the Kossack village of Narynkol (Okhotnichi). 
The way thither leads from the luxuriant grass- 
plains of the ancient lake-basin, over the adjacent 
undulating high plains, into a spacious green 
landscape, the configuration of which is throughout 
due to former ice-action. The peaks of the long, 
much curved mountain chains, Bash-ogly-tagh 
and Kapyl-Tau, shooting up in the south are 
intersected by wide, trough-shaped, high-lying 
valleys, each of which is occupied by a small 

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field of nev^ and a small glacier. As may be 
distinctly perceived, these are only the remains 
of fonner ice-currents of considerable extent, the 
course of which may be satisfactorily traced by 
the ground, lateral and terminal moraines re- 
maining intact and now coated over with vegeta- 
tion. All superficial forms, characteristic of a 
landscape vacated by the ice, even drumlins, 
may here be observed. On a second visit to this 
district, the way led me into a larger lateral 
valley (Bash-kara-bulak), where I had the oppor- 
tunity of more closely examining these typical 
forms of a vanished glacial epoch, and to follow 
them into the cauldron-shaped hollows of the 
mountain chain, where great masses of glacier 
snow once rested. 

Beyond Sary-jass-tuty station you leave the 
river-bed of the Chalkody-su, and, crossing the 
mountain chain through the glen of Tute, enter 
the uppermost valley of the Tekes. On the way 
the traveller, viewing the circular wall of the 
mountain chain, is already impressed by a feature 
characteristic of the Central Asiatic mountains 
and especially the Tian-Shan. The mouths of the 
great transverse valleys of older origin are always 
wide and their floor at the same level as that of 
the principal valley. This is due to the enormous 
amount of d^ris piled on the latter in a region 
poorly drained, and covering the base of the margin 
of the mountain chain. 

The farther march to Narjmkol is confined 
almost entirely to the region of the tertiary 

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formation and of the younger river and lake 
deposits. Only a stage distant, however, in the 
above-mentioned glen of Tute, you cross a 
zone of quartz-porphyries and hornblend-por- 
phyries, at the foot of which lie the tertiary 

On July 9th the expedition entered Staniza 
Narynkol (6,200 ft ; 1,760 m.), lying near the 
northern foot of the first lower chain of the Central 
Tian-Shan, hard by the Chinese frontier. This 
place served for a length of time as headquarters 
for the explorations in the high mountains. Seeing 
our arrival took place three weeks later than had 
been planned, there was no time to lose if any 
results were yet to be harvested in what was 
left of the short summer. 

Herr Keidel took in hand the investigation of 
the tertiary formation of the Tekes plain, and 
of the carboniferous limestones, towering up behind 
it. On July 10th I made my first mountain 
excursion, and, with Herr Pfann, the Tyrolese 
Kostner, and a Kossack from the Tekes valley, 
rode some twenty versts (thirteen English miles) 
down to the mouth of a transverse valley, cutting 
in a southward direction into the mountain chain, 
a valley known by the name of Mukur-mutu. 
Between the great transverse vaUeys of the Great 
and the Little Musart rivers, which, in an approxi- 
mately southern course, cut into its northern slope, 
the great chain is again divided, principally by 
three short transverse valleys, filled with exceed- 
ingly dense pine-forest— the Mukur-mutu valleys — 

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which, after short courses, terminate in an extensive 
high plateau region. The Kalmuck population 
of the Tekes vaUey understand in general, under 
the name of the Mukur-mutu, the whole slope of 
the mountain chain between Little and Great 
Musart with aU the transverse valleys, intersecting it. 
According to this acceptation, Mukur-mutu would 
therefore designate the region which to the east 
and the west of the great valleys named is bounded 
on the south and south-east by the valleys of 
Maralty and Dondukol, and on the south-west by 
Uertenty valley : valleys of which, later on, there 
will be much to say. The district is known by 
the name also of Kutingy. I was here able at once 
to assure myself that the delineation of the whole 
of this strip of land in the forty- verst map does 
not suggest even a remote idea of the reality. 
Of the Mukur-mutu valleys, for example, only 
one is shown, and that, too, just three times longer 
than its actual course. In the high plateau region 
in which the Mukur-mutu valleys originate erosion 
has caused only broad channels of little depth. 
The many-peaked chains, walling in the head 
waters of all above-mentioned valleys, form likewise 
the verge of the plateau mass, which on its turn 
swells up into some dome-shaped heights. By the 
forty- verst map it looks, as though Khan-Tengri 
towered up here in the southern enclosing , wall 
of the plateau, and to make sure of the fact was 
the motive to this excursion. We wandered but 
a short distance through the most western 
of the Mukur-mutu valleys — ^their mouth about 

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6,400 ft. (1,850 m.) high — and soon turning sharp 
eastwards, we made a very steep climh over slopes 
wooded and carpeted with Alpine meadows of 
unsurpassable luxuriance, displaying a marvellous 
Alpine flora over old ground moraine-deposits. 
After some time craggy ranges of slabby rose- 
coloiu^ granite break through the steep, abraded 
beds of schist and the soft forms of the green- 
clad diluvial deposits covering them, and you 
mount to a stage of the plateau, where we en- 
camped at a height of about 7,700 ft Thence 
we turned southward and ascended to a far higher 
stage of the plateau, and there soon reached a 
zone of dark, richly fossiliferous, dense limestones. 
Without undergoing a high degree of crystal- 
lisation, these limestones, along with the stratified 
granites cropping up between them, have been 
subjected to enormous pressure, so that most of 
the organic inclusions were crushed beyond identi- 
fication and also transformed into silicates, of which, 
too, but very little is to be obtained. The booty 
gathered was therefore small. On a second visit, 
the following year, to the valley, we were fortunate 
enough to pick up, at another spot, a somewhat 
better collection, from which the age of the lime- 
stones was determined to be lower carboniferous. 
These dense, dark limestones alternate with light- 
coloured and somewhat granular calcareous slates, 
and, farther on, with red argillaceous-calcareous 
slates. The whole series follows the dip of the 
granites (average direction N. by 85° E.), which 
in their turn, follow, farther to the south-east, on 

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the limestones. The series varies m its course, 
however, very much, and higher up, passes into 
an ahnost opposite direction. There you find 
yom-self in a region of dislocation. A beautiful 
cauldron caused by subsidence, with a little lake 
at its bottom, still lies on the boundary between 
the granites and limestones in this latter formation. 
Higher up, a part of the calcareous mass, composing 
the plateau seems to have subsided to a consider- 
able length, in a southward direction towards a 
trenchlike depression, the axis of which, directed 
east-south-east, is the axis followed by the high 
valley of Maralty, cutting transversely through 
the plateau. A more detailed description of 
this interesting region would exceed the limits 
of this preliminary report. Be it only added 
that the spot where the better preserved fossils 
are to be found, lies exactly in a plain of 

We mounted one of the highest dome-shaped 
protuberances of the plateau (about 11,000 ft ; 
8,400 m.), there photographed the magnificent peaks 
of the Uertenty valley, and took telephotographic 
views of the high-peaked, ice-covered chain which 
is planted in front of and parallel to the main 
ridge here trending east-south-east. Of this main 
ridge only a few elevations could be seen, towering 
up behind the parallel chain. Did Khan-Tengri rise 
at the spot, where in the forty-verst map and in 
all other maps, it is represented, its pyramid must 
inevitably have been seen from our standpoint. 
All we learned by our excursion was therefore only 


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the confirmation of the opinion, previously sag- 
gesteif namely, that in this cardinal point the maps 
were all of them at fault. The task therefore 
devolved on us to determine the actual situation 
of Khaa-TengrL 

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The first advance made towards the solution 
of this problem led us into the large transverse 
valley of Bayumkol (wrongly named by some 
travellers Karakol and Biankol). The axial 
direction of this valley, some forty miles long, 
changes many times from the spot, where the 
river bursts forth from the mountain chain; the 
valley cleaves its way through the high land in 
an approximately southern direction, but afterwards 
bends round to the south-east, then to the east- 
south-east. It next again takes a southern direction 
and, at its termination, bifurcates into two branches ; 
one trending south and south-west, the other south- 
east, both of them occupied by considerable glaciers 
and surrounded by chains wholly covered with 
glaciers. The peaks of these chains are among the 
highest of the Central Tian-Shan, rising to 20,000 ft. 
and more. These chains form part of the central 
watershed of the Tian-Shan. The river, rushing 
in large volume down the valley, takes, on issuing 
from the mountains into the vast basin-shaped 
expansion of the Tekes valley, at first an eastern 
direction, flowing through the capacious basins of 


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two ancient border-lakes, once connected. Of one 
of these lakes of late tertiary age the margins, com- 
prised of sandstones, sandy clay and slate beds, are 
in excellent preservation. The stream next strikes 
north-north-east by the Staniza Narjmkol, and at 
last, taking a northerly course, reaches the Tekes. 
Our way, therefore, into the mountain valley led us 
through a depression beginning some twelve miles 
up the river. This depression, in the neighbour- 
hood of the Staniza Narynkol, is marshy and hedged 
round by a broad belt of dense high-grown bush. 
In this thicket, through which our road led us, 
there were buzzing millions of gadflies. These set 
upon my horses, which had just been brought 
down from the cool mountain meadows, with 
such fierceness that, becoming restless, they dis- 
placed their burdens, and so, getting scared, some 
of them took to flight. In a twinkling the others 
aU followed their example. In less than a minute 
all the twelve packhorses, throwing off their 
loads and dragging their girths after them, bolted 
in mad gallop in all directions all over the wide 
steppe and through its thickets, continually kicking 
at the packages with their hind legs. Instruments, 
apparatus, provisions — everything was flung to the 
winds. Speechless with horror, I looked on at 
the spectacle. Should the altogether indispensable 
articles of outfit, more particularly the instruments 
and apparatus, be smashed, many months would 
be needed to make up for the loss. The ex- 
pedition would be wrecked at its threshold. The 
cases of a number of packages were burst open 

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under the horses' hoofs, and their contents, 
especially the boxes of preserves, flung higgledy- 
piggledy among the tall grass of the steppe. 
While some of the " Jigits" and Kossacks hurried 
after the runaway animals, the others searched 
among bush and grass for the packages. After 
a time it appeared that the scare was worse 
then the scath, and that I had got rather cheaply 
out of the disaster. The most valuable articles 
were found to be all of them undamaged. Help 
came from Narjmkol, whither I had despatched 
a messenger. The horses were caught and brought 
back ; the damaged cases, straps, etc. were 
hastily mended. After the loss of five hours 
the caravan was again ready for the march. 
It was some time, however, before I recovered 
from the shock. 

So soon as the enclosed basin just mentioned, 
about foiur and half miles long, had been left in 
our rear by a narrow passage in its enclosing wall, 
we entered another basin, much more extensive 
still, whose northern environment is formed by a 
moderately high calcareous range. The tertiary 
lacustrean deposits of the enclosing wall of the 
basin we had just left are continued along the foot 
of the calcareous range in a series of terraces. In 
this calcareous wall, exactly opposite the mouth 
of the Bajrumkol valley, and at the north end 
of the lake-basin, three and one-third miles broad, 
there is noticeable a gatelike breach, through 
which there now flows, in a straight course north- 
wards to the Tekes, the inconsiderable streamlet 

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Ukurchy. On the other hand, instead of con- 
tinuing its northern course, to which in the wide 
plain there is no opposing obstacle, and thereby 
reaching the rocky gate in the north and so 
making a direct passage to the Tekes, the 
Bayiimkol river, on issuing from the mountain 
chain, all at once bends to the east. It there- 
upon forthwith encounters a calcareous cliff, 
Tas-tepe, barring its path, and which it is bound 
to break through. It has sawn out a deep bed in 
the calcareous rocks at the edge of the mountain 
chain in order to be able to continue its farther 
course east, north-east, and north, till at last it 
reaches the Tekes. What could induce the river 
to make this complicated journey ? Evidently 
in former times it had taken a straight course 
to the north across the plain and through the 
breach, which it had once itself effected. This 
continued to be its course till in the ice age 
either masses of ice or boulder-deposits blocked 
the passage and compelled it to take an eastern 
course. To the importance of the former glacier 
age the ancient masses of moraines lying on the 
skirts of the mountain ranges in the Tekes valley 
give testimony. In their form and arrangement 
I was able to read that the ice masses in the 
past, pushed forward from the mountain chain, 
had flooded the crest of the first border chain. 
The mouth of the Ba3rumkol valley is about 
four-fifths of a mile wide ; the bottom lies at the 
same level {vide p. 18) with that of the princi- 
pal valley (about 7,000 ft), and, owing to the 

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enormous masses of deposit, piled on the ancient 
floor, it rises at a quite moderate incline (about 
174 ft. per mile). The valley spreads into 
basins as much as a mile in width, and separated 
from one another by contractions of no more 
than 1,100 ft. Most of these expansions con- 
tained lakes, dammed by the ancient terminal 
moraines, which, in the period of the successive 
retreat of the earlier glacier, got thrown up, one 
behind the other. Only in the case of two of 
these expansions could I make out other causes 
for their origin. One, near the mouth of the 
valley of the Ak-kul, has without doubt been 
formed, or at least developed, by lateral erosion 
of the valley river. Another, at the mouth of 
the lateral valley Tyr-asha, arose in consequence 
of a fault between limestones and chloritic 

Of most of the ancient terminal morames, only 
inconsiderable remains are preserved. Only two 
of them still block up the valley as enormous 
walls. One is at the mouth of the lateral valley 
of Alai-aigyr, which, running eastwards, affords 
access to the Saikal valley (Little Musart). The 
other is at the mouth of the Kenem-begu valley, 
which leads west to a col, giving access into the 
Ashu-t)rr valley. Both moraines, each of them over 
the third of a mile broad, owe their preservation 
to mighty mountain-slips, rolled down and cover- 
ing to a great extent the moraine walls, one of 
the mountain-slips being of granite, the other 
of phyllitic rock. Where these vast masses of 

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blocks rest, atmospheric influences and the 
strength of waters, endeavouring to clear away 
the morainic walls were spent in vain. The 
river was obliged to force a passage at both 
places in a deep ravinelike glen, where, to all 
appearance, it resumed and deepened the bed it 
had occupied before the ice age. Besides these 
two monumental witnesses to the once mighty 
glacier conditions of the valley, evidence to the 
same fact is to be found also in the form of high- 
lying polished rocks and in the heaps of moraine 
d^ris or terraces of glacial rubble along the walls 
of the valley, preserved everywhere, where the 
slope is not too steep. These debris heaps form 
high terraces many miles wide, now on the right, 
now on the left bank. In many places moraine 
debris may be seen towering more than 800 ft. 
above the level of the river. At the mouths of 
many lateral valleys, especially that of the Ashu- 
tyr valley, the moraine walls of very considerable 
magnitude, formed of the debris, are in excellent 
preservation, at the mouths of others they have 
got washed away and shifted. 

At the entrance of the Bayiimkol vaUey the 
enclosing walls are formed of granite, to which, a 
httle higher up, succeed fossiliferous limestones and 
calcareous slates, as well as dark argillaceous 
slates, to which, in turn, again granite succeeds. 
Granites of very various character, limestones, 
calcareous slates, argillaceous slates, also gneiss 
and other crystalline slates, alternate along the 
whole length of the valley in unintermittent 

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sequence and in very peculiar conditions of 
stratification. Into this matter, however, there 
is the less need to enter here, as Herr Keidel 
has taken a geological profile of the valley, which 
he will pubUsh and elucidate in the geological 
part of the more complete report. I may, how- 
ever, here call attention to the fact, that granite 
and gneiss take the prominent part in the 
structure of the enclosing walls, that the sedi- 
mentary matter always reappears, pressed between 
the granites, without, however, showing any 
sign of contact-metamorphosis, and that the 
granites appear to have been vehemently ground. 
This points to folding processes which have 
affected both kinds of rocks in common. We 
fiirther note the embedding of diabasic rocks, 
more especially diabasic slates. Lastly, here too 
attention must be drawn to the important fact, 
first established in the Bayumkol valley and since 
confirmed in all the Tian-Shan valleys, leading 
to the principal ridge, which were visited by the 
expedition — the fact, namely, that in every case 
the crystalline rocks reach no farther than 
proximity, hearer or more remote, to the main 
watershed. This latter is itself built up exclu- 
sively of sedimentary rocks, which have undergone 
transformation through dynamo-metamorphic pro- 
cesses, in part also in consequence of the eruption 
of diabasic rock. In the structure of the most 
central and highest region of the Central Tian- 
Shan, not only limestones of different kinds have 
taken part, but also dense, dark, argillaceous 

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slates of very various formation, dark slates, 
having the character of roofing-slate, prepon- 
derating, and marbles of different colours, mostly 
white, grey or with light streaks. 

The valley presents the character of a northern 
Alpine valley, showing excellent Alpine meadows 
and extensive and very dense pine forest {Picea 
Shrenkeana\ with which are here and there com- 
bined deciduous trees, such as sorbus, willow, 
comus, moimtain ash. The somewhat auriferous 
alluviimi of the river was, more than forty-five 
years ago, when the district still belonged to China, 
exploited by the Chinese. Later, the attempts 
to find gold were prosecuted with the aid of 
extensive plant by Russian speculators. It would 
appear, however, that they did not pay, seeing 
the constructions are no longer worked and 
are fallen into decay. 

The river carries an imcommon volume of water, 
and, in the warm hours of the day, rushes in 
raging flood down its bed. It is therefore 
dangerous to cross, as I learned to my cost. One 
of the packhorses, slipping, was at once carried 
away into a whirlpool, whence it was rescued 
only with the greatest exertion. Of its load a 
package was lost, containing all my personal 

Just before reaching the mouth of the side 
valley of Ashu-tyr, and behind a belt of wood 
which stretches diagonally across the main valley, 
the magnificent pyramid of Khan-Tengri suddenly 
comes into view. The moimtain looks so near 

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{To face p, 26. 

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as to convey the illusive impression that it is 
planted in the background of the Bayumkol 
valley. Arriving at the end of the great granite 
rocksUp, lying on the top of the first ancient 
terminal moraine at the ddbouchement of the 
lateral valley of Alai-aigyr, one sees, far below, 
the middle course of the Bayumkol valley as a 
forest-encircled basin with a quite level bottom; 
here, on the other hand, the view is magnificently 
closed by Khan-Tengri, and it seemed again as 
if at the end of the Bayumkol valley we should 
reach the foot of the giant mountain. There we 
found indeed the head of a valley, exhibiting 
magnificent glaciers and a circle of very high 
mountains clothed with ice from their feet to 
their summits, but Khan-Tengri was not among 
them. Owing to the fact that the moimtain has 
no rival and overtops the highest summits of all 
the neighbouring ranges by over 8,000 ft., it can 
be identified from points of sufficient altitude 
and at sufficient distance in any direction whatever. 
The determination of its position, with a careftd 
exploration and topographical survey of the 
Bayumkol glacier, and the geological investigation 
of the ranges bounding the valley, would shortly 
form our task. 

Our camp was pitched at the end of the 
main valley at an altitude of about 10,500 ft. 
(8,200 m.), near the spot where the glacier arms, 
approaching one another from the south-east and 
south-west, unite in one common terminal tongue 
which ends about 10,660 ft. (8,250 m.) in altitude. 

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While the south-westem glacier (the longer one) 
forms a rather compact, not very steeply inclined, 
ice-field, about eight miles (twelve versts) long, which 
has its origin between snow-clad peaks on a lofly 
snow-clad ridge (first trodden by me the following 
year), the south-eastern glacier is somewhat shorter, 
but much steeper and more rugged ; it is formed 
by the union of three ice-streams which, breaking 
through gorges in the ice-clad ramparts of the 
valley, unite in a circus-shaped basin. On the 
surface of the ice a number of funnel-shaped 
lakes are hollowed out The wide ice-basin is 
immediately overhung by a mountain which for 
height, massiveness, and boldness of form is 
the most commanding of the giant peaks which 
rise roimd the Bayumkol glacier. From its 
ice-clad shoulder on the north-west side a per- 
pendicular wall about 6,500 ft. (2,000 m.) in 
height, on which, of course, neither snow nor 
ice can remain, faUs straight to the rugged 
broken ice of the glacier-floor. This precipice 
is of white, grey and streaked marble, and for 
this reason we called the mountain the '^ Marble 
Wall" (*Marmorwand'). Like Khan-Tengri, this 
commanding moimtain stands conspicuous as a 
landmark of the Central Tian-Shan, an orientation 
point. It can be recognised by its remarkable 
height and by the fact that it towers up just 
at the point of union of the main ridge with 
its branches, visible far and wide from every 
point on the high groimd. Seen from the Tekes 
plain, it is known by its remarkable form and 

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its precipitous marble side. It was not till later 
that we proved what an important part it plays 
in the formation of the Tian-Shan. 

During two weeks which we spent in the 
Bayumkol valley, we were busy with the investi- 
gation of the glaciers and their surrounding hills, 
Herr Pfann in addition taking measurements 
and making a survey, while Herr Keidel prepared 
a geological section of the valley and collected 
the material necessary for its corroboration. These 
labours were, however, often interrupted and 
sometimes hindered by two causes — ^inclement 
weather, and the refiisal of the porters to work 
on difficult ground. The summer of 1902 was on 
the whole distinguished by unsettled weather. 
Moreover, in the high vaUeys of the Central 
Tian-Shan this variability was affected in a 
conspicuous manner by local conditions. As was 
often proved in the course of the journey, and 
as could be established from the meteorological 
observations, which were recorded regularly twice 
a day, each separate valley has its own meteoro- 
logical character, which depends on the direction of 
the axis of the valley. For the Bajrumkol valley 
the determining factor is that, being wide open 
to the north, it debouches immediately into the 
wide Tekes plain. The layers of air stagnating 
there and rapidly cooled during the night are, 
towards midday, set in violent commotion, owing 
to the imcommonly effective insolation of the 
floor of the steppe; they rush in storm towards 
the mountain range and penetrate the wide chasm 

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of the Bajrumkol valley to its upper stretches, 
where, rapidly decreasing in temperature on the 
comparatively cold slopes, which extend to the 
north and north-east, they condense their vapour. 
The weather in the upper valley was, as a rule, 
good in the forenoon, but the force of the 
current of air, which regularly ascends from 
the plain in the middle of the day, is so great 
that it displaces that which, earUer in the day, 
prevails in the upper valley, and the latter does 
not regain its ascendency and restore calm till 
evening. With great regularity towards noon 
the air became dull; about two or three o'clock 
torrents of rain or snowstorms began, and after- 
wards, during the evening and night, fine clear 
weather prevailed. These winds, however, con- 
dense their moisture on the middle heights, and 
the highest ridges receive but Uttle of it. At 
our headquarters, about 10,500 fL (8,200 m.) high, 
the weather was always worse than at our camps, 
8,800—6,600 fL (1,000—2,000 m.) higher, where 
our work was mainly carried on. In the valley 
the precipitation was more continuous and more 
copious. The dry, loose condition of the snow 
on the extreme heights of the Tian-Shan (of 
which more hereafter) receives frx)m these facts 
at least a partial explanation, though doubtless 
other circmnstances are also partly accoimtable 
for it. 

As for the porters, one-half of the Kirghiz 
deserted in the night, and the other half refrised 
to serve, if they should have to climb on foot over 

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glacier ice at the higher elevations and carry on 
their back loads of quite moderate weight Our 
discharged Kossacks were somewhat better, but 
they would not undertake what an Alpine porter 
of only average strength accomplishes with ease, 
to say nothing of the loads, carried by the natives 
in Sikkim and Kashmir. They usually showed 
the greatest aversion to snow at a great altitude, 
though I had equipped them all with Tyrolese 
shoes nailed for mountain wear, as well as crampons 
and ice-axes. 

If to the unfavourable factors already mentioned 
there is added the bad condition of the high snow, 
which, especially on the northern and eastern 
slopes, lay dry and powdery on a surface of ice, one 
can easily imagine the wretched difficulties which 
opposed our investigations. I soon perceived that 
the extreme heights of the Tian-Shan are no 
proper field for the gratification of the Alpine 
craze. Our incipient purpose of climbing the 
"Marble Wall" had to be given up, since the 
porters could not be induced to carry the baggage, 
indispensable for a prolonged sojourn over heights 
of 16,000 ft. (5,000 m.), to a saddle at the foot 
of the north-western arHe of the mountain. We 
had pitched our little mummery-tent at a spot fi^ee 
from ice, about 12,500 ft. (8,800 m.) high, on a de- 
pression in the north-eastern rampart of the eastern 
glacier. Thence we made excursions to the lofty 
granite peaks in the north-west, from 14,000 to 
14,800 ft. (4,800 — 4,500 m.) high, wreathed with 
small glaciers. The granite is there altered in an 

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unusual and multifarious manner in consequence of 
mountain pressure* Next we went to the com- 
pletely snow-clad schist summits, 16,500 to 18,000 
ft (5,000 — 5,500 m.) high, to the south-east of the 
high camp, to get from these heights an insight 
into the formation of the surrounding chains, and 
into the course of the valleys, which separate them, 
as well as to take photographic (especially tele- 
'photographic) panoramic views. These would be 
of great value for the completion of the topographic 
surveys, in which, moreover, the detail was obtained 
by photography. 

Of these excursions the following was of special 
interest: On July 28th, soon after midnight, we 
left a bivouac at 14,000 ft, (4,800 m.) on the north- 
eastern rampart of the eastern glacier, and out- 
flanked that obstacle by traversing in the dark, over 
dangerous ground, the south-west flank of a lofty 
snow-clad summit. We then climbed the next 
peak, about 16,500 ft. (5,000 m.), and descended 
several hundred metres to a snow-saddle, and 
again worked our way up to a similar dome- 
shaped ridge about 15,800 ft. (4,800 m.) high. 
Thence we descended towards the east, and thus 
reached the head of a hitherto unknown valley, 
quite filled with glacier ice. The course of this 
valley was first north-east, then east, and finally 
south-east, debouching in the neighbourhood of the 
Musart pass, and having thus a length of about 
twenty-six miles (forty versts). From the quite 
level ice-floor of the valley-head we turned towards 
the south-west, ascended about 1,800 ft (400 m.) 

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over nev^-covered slopes and, passing over a wide 
snow-clad ridge, reached the foot of the north- 
west ar&te of the " Marble Wall." There a magni- 
ficent view opened out, towards the west over 
the wild glacier region of the Bayumkol, and 
towards the east over the far-stretching ice-field 
of the newly discovered valley. This is bounded 
on its south side by a commanding ice-clad range 
of splendid peaks, stretching away towards the 
Musart pass. In the deep bays between these 
peaks lie exceedingly rugged and picturesque 
many-terraced glaciers, which descend steeply to 
the main glacier. This range, branching off from 
the " Marble Wall," without doubt forms the main 
watershed between the northern and southern 
slopes of the Central Tian-Shan, as was proved 
to a certainty by subsequent observations from 
various points of view. I estimate the average 
height of the ridge of this chain at about 
16,400 ft. (5,000 m.), and that of the peaks at 
more than 19,500 ft. (6,000 m.). There is only one 
deep depression in this mountain rampart. My 
expectation of seeing Khan-Tengri, towering up 
in it, was disappointed, and the question as to 
its position became ever more mysterious. It 
could not be far off, but in which of the valleys, 
lying behind this range, could it rise? Once 
more the inaccuracy of all the maps of this 
region was proved. There, where, according to 
the maps, Khan-Tengri should be, rises the 
"Marble Wall." The northern rampart of the 
ice-valley, though not so lofty as the southern, 


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is imposing enough ; through the indentations 
of its crest we could see an ocean of peaks, 
many of which had never before been looked 
on by human eye. They belong, in part, to 
the mountain range, bounding the unexplored 
valleys to the north-east and east of our position, 
some of which, at least, I was able to traverse in 
the following year. 

Owing to the nearly complete covering of snow 
and ice on these lofty ranges, one could see but 
little or nothing of their geological structure. That 
diabase must be represented in them was shown 
by blocks among the meagre ddbris at the head 
of the valley. In the following year I was able 
to determine their composition, which is identical 
with that of the range at the head of the 
Bayumkol valley. In viewing these mighty pro- 
tuberances of the ground, rising round us, one 
could not but perceive that the broad masses of 
the mountain ranges east and west of my position 
are cleft only by the courses of a few deep valleys, 
evidently of very old formation, and are thus 
divided into single groups {massifs)^ whose roofs 
are in most instances furrowed only by elevated 
troughs or not very deep channels, separating 
narrow crests and numerous peaks which rise out 
of the plateaux. The mouths of these smaller 
elevated valleys, retaining snow and tiny glaciers, 
almost always Ue very high above the level of the 
main valley. Without discussing this interesting 
subject, I shall only mention that at the time 
when the channels of the main valleys were still 

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filled high with ice, the small contributory glaciers 
in the upper valleys disembogued at the level 
of the surface of the glaciers in the main 
valleys. As the glaciers, both below and above, 
retreated (the tributaries far faster than the main 
glaciers), erosion by the action of flowing water 
was, in consequence of the rapidly increasing 
dryness of the climate, insufficient to contribute 
materially to the development of these newer 
valleys, while, on the other hand, in consequence 
of the enhanced destruction of the moimtain 
crests, the filling up of the hollows with debris 
began and continued till these were again partially 
filled with snow and ice, owing to a renewed 
but less copious glacial period. In the con- 
figuration of the roof of these ranges, accordingly, 
we see the result of erosion and excavation no 
longer in vigorous action, while, in all the deep 
channels, especially during the interglacial periods, 
both continued and still continue to act very 

The continuously unfavourable condition of the 
weather in the Bayumkol valley caused me, though 
my labours were not yet ended, to leave it for 
the time and not return till autumn, when, with 
less conflict between the thermal conditions of 
plain and mountain, more settled weather might 
be expected. I wished to try whether better 
weather would not favour exploration in one of 
the larger valleys, the Sary-jass valley. 

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We withdrew about sixteen miles (twenty-five 
versts) from the head of the (Bayumkol) valley, and 
then turned southwards into the Ashu-tyr side 
valley, already mentioned, which possesses great 
wealth of water, alpine meadow, and pine forests. 
The valley has an approximate length of sixteen 
miles (twenty-five versts), and, ascending steeply 
in three stages, stretches with many turnings, but 
on the whole in a south-south-westerly direction, 
following the strike of the gneiss ; this often passing 
into granite, and alternating with limestones, phyl- 
lites, metamorphosed schists and especially marble 
schists forms the boundaries of the valley which 
especially in its lower course, are ruggedly peaked. 
Marbles and marble schists show, particularly at the 
head of the valley, great disturbance and extraordin- 
ary cleavage, due to fractures. The valley every- 
where displays traces of its former ice-covering, not 
only in the deposits of drift, but also in the grinding 
and rounding of the lateral cliffs, noticeable' in a 
high degree in the upper portion of the valley. Its 
supply of glacier-ice is no longer great, yet some 

of the many side-valleys, which open into it, 


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contain small glaciers, while two of them have 
glaciers of more considerable size, which, however, 
are also in a period of rapid retreat. Everywhere 
snow and ice (to be seen especially on the slopes 
of some rugged, massive peaks) are limited to 
northern and eastern exposm^. At the head of 
the valley we made a very steep ascent over marshy 
meadow-land (water being everyft^here in the valley 
surprisingly abundant), an old ground moraine, 
covering the mountain slope and reached a glacier, 
the crossing of whicli was verj^ difficult for the 
horses on account of its covering of soft snow, 
and owing to crevasses, which the snow concealed. 
Crossing the snowy ridge about 12,800 ft. (3,900 m,) 
high, we reached the Karakol valley, which opens 
into that of Siu-y-jass, 

I must liere remark that the Kirghiz know no 
other name for this side-valley than "Karakol/* 
This, after many inquiries, I was able to estabhsh 
just as surely as that nowhere in the Tekes valley 
do the Kirgliiz population or the Kossacks of 
Narynkol or the constituted authorities for the 
Bayumkol valley, apply to it the name ** KarakoL" 
Hence Herr Ignatieff is wrong, 1 think, in re- 
naming the real Karakol valley after his Kirghiz 
guide Bektur-bulak, Geographical names cannot 
be dealt with too carefully if one would avoid 
confusion* Dr. Friedrichsen, who, with the 
Saposhnikoff' expedition, crossed by the same 
route as we did, but two weeks earlier and in 
the opposite direction, in his " Reisebriefen " 
calls the valley Ashu-tyr, a name which belongs 

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only to the valley, running from the pass north- 
wards to the Bayumkol valley. Dr. Friedrichsen 
took this tributary for the main valley, though 
the far greater volume of the main river is alone 
sufficient proof that the main valley must lead 
at its southern end to extensive glaciers. The 
pass itself he calls Narynkol pass, evidently on 
the probably erroneous assumption that it is the 
identical pass, crossed by Ignatieff and by him 
called Narynkol. If the pass must bear a name, 
Ashu-tyr would be a more suitable one. 

We made a steep descent fit)m the pass in a 
south-westerly direction following the course of the 
Karakol glacier, which comes from dome-shaped, 
snow-dad smnmits, and is very little laden with drift. 
Our path lay in a hollow between the margin of the 
glacier-tongue, a wall of ice 100 ft. (30 m.) high, 
and the mountain side. The range here consists of 
phyllitic schists, stratified porphyry, granite, lime- 
stones, and extraordinarily riven marbles, as well 
as conglomerates and breccias, which are con- 
nected with the outcropping of the porphjrry. In 
the limestones Herr Keidel found badly preserved 
fossils. The rock walls on both sides of the valley 
are polished to a great height by ice, and the lower 
part of the valley may be reguded as a type of a 
valley to a considerable extent shaped by, if not 
entirely due to, the action of ice. Besides the main 
glacier, which, after a course of about three miles 
(four to five versts), ends abruptly in its own debris 
about 8,700 m., there are two other considerable 
glaciers, which come in from the left, but their 

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tongues cling to the black slate walls, no longer 
reaching the main glacier ; in a similar condition 
are a number of smaller ones, which lie in holes and 
comers of the rock sides of the valley. The lower 
course of the valley, much widened in consequence 
of faults (one is especially finely exposed), has 
been eroded into the form of a kettle, owing not 
only to the action of the main glacier, but also to 
the convergent action of the numerous secondary 
glaciers, which formerly forced their way beyond 
their actual boundaries concentrically into this 
valley, thus presenting a true object-lesson on 
the corrosive action of ice. Here also, in conse- 
quence of ruptures as well as of the grinding force 
of the ice and the weathering, which is peculiarly 
active, owing to the valley's being open to the 
south and west, an illustration of advanced 
destruction of the mountain range is presented, 
such as I had seldom seen in the Tian-Shan, 
rich as it is in phenomena of this sort. The 
southern and western exposure, favourable to an 
extraordinary insolation of the dark slate cliffs, 
and the consequent intensity of reflected heat, are 
the cause of a more conspicuous retreat of the main 
and the secondary glaciers than I observed in any 
other valley of similar altitude in the northern 
Tian-Shan. The main glacier at one time de- 
bouched seven miles (ten versts) below its present 
termination to join the giant glacier which formerly 
filled the Sary-jass valley. On a green terrace of 
old morainic drift, near the spot where the Karakol 
stream now flows into the Sary-jass river, I had 

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my headquarters at about 11,500 ft. (8,500 m.), 
whence excursions were made for the exploration 
of the Semenoff glacier and the ranges, sur- 
rounding it. 

According to the publications of certam travellers, 
who visited the Sary-jass valley and penetrated some 
versts upwards on the ice of the Semenoff glacier, 
this ice-stream would appear to be fed from the 
snow-fields of lOian-Tengri. If this were the case, 
the mountain would be situated in the background 
of the ice- valley ; but the course of the valley winds 
about, and even from elevated positions its back- 
ground cannot be recognised with sufficient cer- 
tainty, and the less so that broad side-valleys, 
which themselves have branches, debouch near the 
valley-head. From many points on the margin 
of the Sary-jass valley Khan-Tengri is seen, how- 
ever, always in such position, that one is constrained 
to believe it can only rise at the head of the 
Semenoff glacier. Yet, since in the Ba}aimkol valley 
I had settled how far the Semenoff glacier stretches 
northwards; I was doubtfrd of this assumption. 
Taking advantage of favourable weather we forth- 
with ascended a mountain, towering immediately 
behind our camping-ground, on the north side of 
the valley. From this snow-crowned level, about 
18,800 ft. (4,200 m.), there is an excellent view 
over the glacier ranges of the Central Tian-Shan. 
The favourable position of the point reached, the 
pellucid air, and the extraordinarily clear light 
made it possible to take a telephotographic pano- 
rama in twelve sheets of 8 by 10 in. which 

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will be of great value for the determination of 
positions as well as of the fonn and course of the 
mountain chains, which constitute the loftiest 
portion of the Tian-Shan. The view over these 
commanding ranges showed that lOian-Tengri has 
no rivals of even approximately equal nobility. 
Though many summits may reach a height of 
over 20,000 ft. (6,000 m.), and a few even 1,500 ft 
(400 m.) higher, the slender pyramid of Khan-Tengri 
still overtops and dominates them all In these 
hurried notes all I can say concerning the rela- 
tive elevation of the Central Tian-Shan is, that the 
greatest altitudes are in the mountains surrounding 
the Bayiimkol valley, especially those between it 
and the Semenoff glacier, though these may be 
surpassed by a few of the noble peaks to the south 
of the Adyr-tyr or Mushketoff glacier, but that 
these are all excelled by the mountains on the 
southern boundary of the Inylchek glacier, and 
that at all events the average crest and peak 
altitude of this range must be regarded as the 
highest in the Tian-Shan, a gradual slope towards 
the south beginning here. From our standpoint 
we could establish with certainty that the " Marble 
Wall " is identical with the summit which on all 
the maps is marked as Khan-Tengri {vide p. 88,) and, 
though its whole importance as a centre of ramifica- 
tion was not completely proved till later, one could 
even now see that in its neighbourhood a parting 
of divergent ranges takes place. The grouping of 
the crests round the topmost pyramid of Khan- 
Tengri, however, as seen from this point, was such 

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that one could not say, even with remote confi- 
dence, from which of the valleys it rises, especially 
as in its neighbourhood, about north-east from it, 
there is a seemingly confused crowding together 
of mountain ranges, approaching from diflTerent 
directions. It could be conjectured, but not 
settled, that the base of IQian-Tengri, the lord 
of the Tian-Shan, lay in the Inylchek valley. 

Some hundred metres below the top of our 
plateau there extends, like a shoulder of the 
mountain, a terrace on which Herr Pfann marked 
out a base line and fixed its position by astronomical 
observations. From this he determined the position 
and height of Khan-Tengri and others of the most 
prominent points of the Central Tian-Shan, while 
I set about the exploration of the SemenoflP glacier 
and its boimdary ranges, and Herr Keidel busied 
himself with the investigation of the geological 
structure of the range, surrounding the Sary-jass 
valley below the camp, for which purpose he made 
excursions into the side- valleys on the right bank. 
Where extensive faults occur he found schists, 
phyllites, limestones, granites and diabases, which 
had fallen in small flakes to various levels. In the 
Kashka-su valley he was fortunate in finding 
Devonian limestone. The geological stratification 
and composition of the valley ranges shows 
similarity to those of the Ba}aimkol valley, but in 
the Sary-jass valley diabases are more widely 
difiused than in the Ba3rimikoL More detailed 
notes are reserved for the special geological report 
The Sary-jass valley is the most extensive and 

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the most important of all the valleys of the 
Central Tian-Shan, since it forms the great channel 
for the waters, flowing south to the Tarim. Its 
present configuration without doubt has been 
affected by a glacial period. 

The merit of having first pointed out the 
significance of the glacial deposits which are found 
in the valley, belongs to P. P. Semenoff; the 
wide difiusion of these deposits is, however, even 
more important, as this famous explorer has him- 
self acknowledged. I could observe these and 
other signs of the action of ice in the main valley 
and its secondary valleys up to 1,660 ft. (500 m.) 
above the present level of the river, to such heights, 
that one might infer that formerly the valley was 
almost completely filled with glacier ice. In 
comparison with the thickness of former glaciers, 
that of the beds of nevd and ice, still found in the 
main valley and its tributaries, is insignificant; 
nevertheless, these form one of the largest glacier 
regions in the whole of the Tian-Shan, and are, 
as will be proved by the results of my exploration, 
in any case much more important than has 
hitherto been believed. The largest glacier of 
the region is the Semenoff glacier, which hitherto 
was supposed to be the largest of the Tian-Shan. 
I had the good fortune in the course of the 
expedition to obtain proof that it is exceeded in 
length by other ice-streams, one being more than 
double its length. But also, the extent of the 
Semenoff glacier has been hitherto under-estimated. 
According to Ignatieff, who visited it in 1886, its 

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length is about seven miles (ten versts) whereas it 
Ls actually about three times that lengtL Of its 
breadth and the breadth of its tributary glaciers 
there was on the whole up till now no proper 

From various causes, partly also as a result of 
the westerly direction of the axis of the upper 
course of the Sary-jass, we observe the rare 
phenomenon that the main glacier has retreated 
to a greater extent than the still existing side 
glaciers, which — at least, those debouching into the 
upper course of the vaUey — ^have almost kept their 
early horizontal length, if not their former thick- 
ness. This, however, is true only of those which 
debouch on the (orographic) left bank, since their 
axis is directed towards the north. Their tongues 
at the debouchement hang like patches of ice over 
ground-moraine debris 600 — 900 ft. (200 — 800 m.) 
above the present floor of the main vaUey, where 
this is free from ice. Of those which now terminate 
in the region of the main glacier as it at present 
exists, the tongues of the first three no longer 
reach it, but hang 800—500 ft. (100 — 150 m.) 
above the level of its surface. All the secondary 
glaciers farther east debouching on the main 
glacier, some of them of great extent, unite with 
the main stream, and the level of their floor as 
a whole lies in one plain with that of the latter. 
The unusually gentle slope of all these ice-streams 
(it is only 25 m. per verst or 126 ft per mile in 
the middle and upper course of the main glacier) 
might, in my opinion, point to a considerable 

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filling-up of the channels of the valley with 
mountain debris at some time when they were 
not yet covered with ice. 

The side- valleys, debouching on the right bank 
— at least, those debouching into the portion of 
the main valley, now free from ice — ^have, where 
their axis is directed towards the south, no longer 
any glacier; only at the head of some of 
them small fields of nev^ lie in recesses (Kare). 
The mouths of these side-valleys lie from 
650 ft. to 1,000 ft. (200 — 800 m.) above the 
bottom of the main valley ; to reach them one 
has to climb up steep, green, marshy ground- 
moraines. While the chain on the left bank is 
cut into by numerous side-valleys, whose own 
boundary walls, also deeply indented, seem broken 
up into many steep and variously shaped peaks, 
the chain on the right bank is divided by 
relatively few side-valleys, and the walls, bound- 
ing these show far fewer broken crest-lines and 
more plateau-like tops, shattered crests with super- 
imposed tent-shaped peaks. The forces at present 
at work in the formation of mountains do not 
account for these facts, which rather point to the 
conclusion that, prior to the beginning of the 
actual ice-covering of the mountain range, erosion 
was more powerfully at work on the slope ex- 
posed to the north, and destruction (deflation) 
more on that exposed to the south, and con- 
sequently that the climatic conditions were then 
similar to those now prevailing, though they 
may have been less sharply accentuated. At the 

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same time, the high angle at which the strata 
composing these ranges are set must be taken 
into accoimt. 

Several miles below the tongue of the Semenoff 
glacier the bottom of the valley is hollowed out to 
a basin about a mile and a half (two versts) wide, 
its level floor covered with shingle. At some 
former time the water from the glacier had been 
dammed up here by terminal moraines, so as to 
form a lake ; the basin still holds some small relics 
of lakes. The streams from the glacier are still 
busy, cutting up and carrying away the remains 
of the old moraine ice-drift, which still exists in 
considerable masses. To the climatic difference 
between the two banks is to be traced the fact 
that the tongue of the glacier runs along the 
south bank for more than a verst, where the 
north bank is free from ice. I subsequently 
observed like phenomena in other Tian-Shan 
glaciers with similar exposure. The tongue of 
the Semenoff glacier ends at about 12,000 ft. 
(8,600 m.) altitude, according to observations 
taken in two consecutive years. The climatic 
difference is shown also in another way, the 
mountain chain along the bank facing south- 
wards having snow and ice only on its summits, 
which are but slightly divided, while its deep 
rocky precipices retain these only in ravines and 
channels; whereas the chain looking north is 
wrapped in a bright garment of snow and ice, 
which seldom shows a rent. This range, much 
divided, stretches eastwards as a row of mighty 

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snow-clad, round-headed mountains, horn-shaped 
peaks, and steep ice-ramparts, presenting a magni- 
ficent spectacle. In the middle and upper course 
of the glacier, where its axis is directed more 
to the north-east, the bounding range on the 
right bank also appears to a large extent covered 
with ice, though neither in this respect nor in 
imposing mountain shapes does it equal the 
chain on the left bank, which, besides, is loftier. 
This, and also the circumstance that the glacier 
bottom slopes towards the north, are to be traced 
to the gradual rise of the collective mountain 
mass towards the south. In consequence of the 
slope of the ice-bed towards the north, the water 
from the ice tends to flow to the north bank, 
and the main stream therefore springs, not from 
the end of the ice-tongue, but some versts above, 
from a cavity in the precipitous right side of the 
tongue. I was able to observe similar phenomena, 
due to similar causes, in the other great glaciers 
successively towards the south. 

The glacier has, near its tongue, a breadth of 
about 5,000 ft. (a verst and a half), but widens 
farther up and attains in its middle course a breadth 
of more than two miles (three versts). In its lower 
course its surface is free from snow, but is covered 
with some debris, though to a less extent than other 
great glaciers of the Tian-Shan ; here it is only 
furrowed by some deep troughs, owing to peculiar 
conditions of insolation, dependent on the form and 
exposure of the mountain walls, and also due to 
erosion by melting water ; elsewhere it is uneven. 

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in places wavy, but not penetrated by crevices 
to any great extent. Generally the cleavage of 
the surfiftce is comparatively slight, partly in con- 
sequence of the gentle slope and the evenness of 
its base, which I have already mentioned; partly 
on account of the absence of lateral pressure, 
since, apart from the immense size of the basin, 
the ice on both sides is separated from the 
rocky banks by deep chasms ; and lastly because, 
as already stated, most of the secondary glaciers 
join the main glacier without any descent. The 
principal regions of cleavage are at the arched edges, 
mostly on the right side. There are only a few 
places at which seraes have been formed. 

In consequence of its great extent and its gentle 
slope the Semenoff glacier is fairly constant I 
have visited it in two consecutive summers, have 
roamed over it in all directions, and altogether 
have spent more than two weeks on its surface, 
but neither at its terminal tongue nor at its 
edges could I find any indication of shrinkage in 
recent times. If a traveller, who paid a flying 
visit to the lowest part of the glacier some years 
ago, reported on its rapid and continual melting 
away, he was probably induced to take this view 
by the many rivulets, gushing over the ice, such as 
are formed in the case of every great glacier (even 
in the European Alps, though perhaps in less 
degree) in the midday hours of hot summer days. 
But for the melting away which takes place in 
the course of a brief Tian-Shan summer under 
the climatic conditions now prevalent, ample com- 

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pensation is made by the extraordinary amount of 
snow and ice which the Semenoff glacier receives, 
especially from the very large secondary valleys 
of its upper course. So long as there exist such 
immense stores of snow as I have seen in the 
vast, hitherto untrodden interior of the Central 
Tian-Shan and so long as their masses, impelled by 
their own weight to lower altitudes, continue to 
deliver abundant material for the formation of 
nev^ and glaciers, there is, in my opinion, no danger 
of a complete drying up of the Tian-Shan, such 
as has been frequently mooted. These vast stores 
of snow, not only on account of the dry condition, 
peculiar to snow at great altitudes in the Tian- 
Shan {vide pp. 80, 81 ; more concerning this here- 
after), but also on account of the low temperature 
of the air at these elevations, undergo very trifling 
diminution through melting or sublimation, but 
on the contrary are increased by new falls of snow. 
On this interesting subject and on the phenomena 
connected with it, I must not further enlarge 
within the limits of this report. 

Of all the great glaciers of the Central Tian- 
Shan which I have visited, the Semenoff* glacier, 
on the whole, shows in its general habit most 
resemblance to the great glaciers of the European 
Alps. Only in one point it is essentially different 
from them : With respect to its great wealth in 
ice-lakes, and with respect to their origin and 
disappearance, I shall state my opinion in a more 
detailed report. Most of them are funnel-shaped, 
and they are rather irregularly arranged on both 


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banks of the lower and middle course, but are 
more numerous on the right bank. Many of them 
have considerable length, 640 — 1,000 ft. (200 — 
800 m.)» and present a magnificent spectacle when 
the ice-capped giants surrounding the glacier 
valley are mirrored in their green or blue waters. 
The difference in their colour, some being green, 
some blue, is a highly peculiar phenomenon. In 
the upper course of tiie glacier there are no ice- 
lakes, but in the moraines on the right bank tha*e 
are numerous moraine-lakes, not inconsiderable in 
size. The snow-covering begins in the middle 
course, and is very thick in the upper course. 
A nev^ basin, resembling a lake, a mile broad, 
oval, trough-shaped, and rising in two stages, but 
elsewhere with only a very slight incline, forms 
the north-eastern and highest portion of the 
glacier, which is enclosed by the southern wall of 
the western Bayumkol glacier. In this range, in 
which some magnificent snow-peaks rise to a 
height of more than 20,000 ft. (6,000 m.) there 
is a deep depression, easily accessible from the 
uppermost snow trough, and to this, since it lies 
at the very head of the Semenoff* glacier, I have 
given the name of the Semenoff pass. With a 
favourable condition of the snow-covering of the 
Bayumkol glacier, one would probably be able to 
descend through this opening into the last-named 
valley. The total length of the Semenoff* glacier 
from its terminal tongue to this pass is about 
twenty miles (thirty versts). 

The masses of mountain d^ris, transported by 

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the glacier are comparatively small ; the lateral 
moraines have become bank moraines ; the middle 
moraines (there are only two) receive but little 
material, since the great side- valleys, one of which, 
with an average breadth of 8,500 ft. (one verst), has 
an approximate length of seven miles (ten versts), 
are bounded by magnificent mountain chains, whose 
splendid snow and ice mantles show, however, but few 
rents. In the lower reaches of the lateral moraines, 
granites and limestones predominate and elsewhere 
chloritic schists and clay-slate, though limestone as a 
rule is found only in the left morame, since the lime- 
stone crops out from a bed on the left bank, which 
runs north-east and does not again reach the right 
bank. The middle moraines consist almost entirely 
of granites of varied structure, and of granite 
porphyries, pegmatite, and syenite, with some clay- 
slate ; but these rock fragments become scarcer the 
nearer one approaches to the upper course of the 
glacier. Here we meet with increasingly metamor- 
phosed limestones, slates, and white marbles, and 
also fragments of diabase and diabasic slates. 
This leads to the conclusion that the innermost 
boundary range consists only of this rock series. 

All accurate insight into stratigraphic relations 
is prevented by the thick snow mantle, covering 
the bordering ranges. On the right bank, where 
snow-free slopes occur here and there, the ground 
is covered with a chaos of blocks. 

Unfortunately, in Sary-jass also our work was 
little favoured by the weather, although it was 
not quite so unsettled as in the Bayumkol 

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valley. From a bivouac on the right margin of 
the moraine, about 12,800 ft. (8,900 m.), some ten 
miles up the glacier, Herr Pfann and I with the 
Tyrolese Kostner ascended a snowy pjrramidal 
peak, rising to about 15,760 ft. (4,800 m.). From 
its summit was unfolded to our view in all its 
imposing magnificence the vast icefield with its 
ranges of peaks completely snow- and ice-clad, 
beyond which were visible the still loftier wonder- 
ftd mountains of the Mushketoff and of the 
Tnylchek glaciers — altogether an Alpine prospect, 
such as is to be seen in few other parts of the 
globe. The pyramidal cone of Khan-Tengri was 
visible away to the south-south-east beyond a 
broad snowy summit, surrounded by several inter- 
crossing ridges, so that it seemed already evident 
enough that Khan-Tengri has no connection with 
the Semenoff glacier, although in the absence of 
any trustworthy topographic information it was 
impossible to say from what valley it rises. The 
northward view from our summit was specially 
instructive as to the conformation of the complex 
mountain system, stretching between the Bayum- 
kol, Karakol, and Kapkak valleys, as well as the 
trend of the upland valleys, ramifying through it. 
This was a welcome addition to the observations, 
which we had already made from the heights 
of the Baynmkol valley. There was just time 
to take a number of photographic pictures of the 
whole scene when a sudden snowstorm put an 
end to our observations. 
Being determined to solve tb? riddle of the 

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[ To fact p. 5«, 

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THZ rryMK'I 

StCpfK:. . 

tie: u- ^ 
If' rtr-rr- . . 

tue •* ;>ciiivij'»' 
stage ol iic\ c V. 

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position of Khan-Tengri, we proposed the very 
next day to make the ascent of the highest point at 
the head of the Semenoff glacier. This is a superb, 
broad, snowy peak, which is encircled by a system 
of wild s^racs and crevasses, and rises some seven- 
teen miles above the tongue-end in the north-eastem 
extremity of the glacier, its highest point exceeding 
19,685 ft. (6,000 m.) by a few hundred metres. 
This wonderful mountain, which dominates the 
whole basin of the Semenoff glacier, I have named 
the " Semenoff peak," in perpetual memory of 
the great services rendered by the energetic 
President of the Imperial Hussian Geographical 
Society to our knowledge of the Tian-Shan. 

We started from our elevated station soon after 
midnight. With some difficulty we approached 
the right margin, threading our way in the dark 
through the system of lateral crevasses which, 
owing to the sharp bend of the valley to the 
north-east, is here very intricate. Unluckily I 
stepped into a crevasse, thereby so severely sprain- 
ing my left foot that, although still able to get on 
that day with some trouble, I was afterwards fain 
to reserve my strength and prevented for some 
time from taking part in trying excursions. Aft«r 
a rapid march of some eight miles over hard-frozen 
snow we reached the foot of the last stage of the 
glacier, from which access is gained to the highest 
nev^field, which is still some three miles distant from 
the " Semenoff pass," the extreme point. From this 
stage of nev^ we ascended across steep, much-fissured 
snowy slopes in an approximately easterly direction 

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and made good progress over the snow, which, thanks, 
to the early hour (5 a.m.), was in a favourable con- 
dition. We soon reached a considerable altitude, 
so that we felt a confident hope of scaling the top 
of the giant mountain, and from it at last acquir- 
ing some certainty, regarding the position of Khan- 
Tengri and the ramification of the loftiest crests. 

This hope urged us rapidly forward ; but as we 
mounted higher and higher, up to an elevation of 
some 16,400 ft. (5,000 m.), the hard-frozen surface 
gradually gave way imder our feet and, hence- 
forth, was formed of snow, which assumed more 
and more a powdery consistency. I have already 
indicated one of the causes of this phenomenon 
{xjide pp. 80, 49). The moisture precipitated as snow 
on the extreme heights of the Tian-Shan possesses 
a peculiar crystalline form, and is dry as powder. 
The atmospheric strata of these altitudes are un- 
usually dry, but on snow of this nature they cause 
no appreciable amount of evaporation. Moreover, 
even under the influence of insolation the surface 
layers cannot, owing to the constant circulation of 
the upper atmospheric strata and their low tempera- 
ture,thaw during the day, and consequently cannot 
form a frozen crust at night. If anywhere, such 
processes take place on the slopes, facing south and 
west, though even there only to a small extent, but 
as a rule hardly at all on those with a northerly or 
easterly exposure. There, on the contrary, the severe 
night frosts only make the snow all the drier. This 
prevents any congelation, and one sinks a yard deep 
in the powdery snow. But when this powdery 

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snow lies on a layer of old snow, which by the 
above-mentioned processes has acquired a glacial 
surface in any places, favourable for such a forma- 
tion, or else has been gradually hardened by the 
pressure of the overlying layei-s, then there is great 
danger of the loose surface layer, when trodden 
upon, breaking away from the steep slope and glid- 
ing with the persons trespassing on it down to the 
bottom. In a few days this was, in fact, verified. 
For us, however, there was no imminent analogous 
danger during the ascent ; but we sank at every 
step to the middle, and could no longer find any 
firm footing. All our efforts failed to discover 
a zone of snow in better condition by changing 
the direction of our ascent 

In order to divide fairly the toilsome labour of 
treading down the snow, we changed the leader 
every ten minutes. Still the strength of the three 
Alpine climbers gradually flagged, and despite the 
most heroic efforts, we no longer made any 
appreciable progress. There were still to be sur- 
mounted over 8,800 ft. (1,000 m.) of absolute 
elevation, which, taking into account the angle 
of the slope and the winding of the way, was 
equivalent to a distance.of over 5,000 ft. (1,500 m.). 
Even if our strength was equal to the task, which 
was not to be thought of in such snow and in 
such extremely rarefied atmosphere higher up, 
night would have overtaken us on the summit. 
And how easily might the weather have changed, 
so that even then we should have no longer been 
able to make observations. 

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The undertaking had to be given up as hopeless. 
Still, it was not quite useless, since the prospect 
from the elevation attained gave us much supple- 
mentary information. 

The state of my foot obliging me to return to 
headquarters, my place was taken by Herr Keidel, 
and one of the Narynkol Kossacks was summoned 
to carry the large photographic apparatus. The 
party now ascended a summit 15,100 ft. (4,600 m.) 
high on the southern margin of the Semenoff 
glacier, the primary object being to take photo- 
graphs and to obtain bearings for our further 
investigations. From this point Herr Pfann's 
next goal was a mountain, rising on the southern 
margin of the neighbouring Mushketoff glacier, 
which runs parallel with the Semenoff. The 
assumption — verified a year later — ^was that from 
the top a decisive view must be had of the valley, 
towering above which, the pyramidal crest of 
Khan-Tengri is always seen. 

As the mountain at least its flank up which the 
ascent was to be made, is not very steep, and 
moreover faces west, all the conditions were 
present for a successM issue. 

At midnight the party of four started from a 
camp 18,450 ft. (4,100 m.) high, situated on the 
left margin of the Semenoff glacier at the junction 
of a broad level secondary glacier valley. They 
traversed its course of about five miles, and thus 
before daybreak reached the foot of a broad low 
ridge, which is crowned with stunted snowy domes 
and separates the Semenoff basin from the upper 

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part of the Mushketoff glacier, of which more anon. 
A deep depression about 14,450 ft. (4,400 m.) in 
this valley — ^which I name the " Mushketoff pass " 
in honour of the never-to-be-forgotten naturalist, 
Mushketoff — ^was now surmounted. As the surface 
of the Mushketoff glacier is here about 500 ft. 
(150 m.) higher than that of the Semenoff glacier, 
but little height was sacrificed in descending to 
reach it. It was crossed from side to side at a point, 
where it is about two miles wide, so that by day- 
break the party reached the foot of the completely 
snow-clad mountain on the opposite margin, which 
was to be ascended, and had an altitude roughly 
estimated at 17,700 ft. (5,800 m.). Scaling over a 
snowy ridge, trending away to the west, they reached 
the shoulder of the mountain and began the ascent 
on the west flank of the actual summit itself. All 
went well, and the snow remained firm under the 
feet of the climbers, who were connected together 
by a stout Alpine rope. Towards 11 o'clock in the 
forenoon they found themselves within 800 — 600 ft. 
(100 — 200 m.) of the very top of the mountain. 
Then was heard a sudden crash : a surface layer of 
snow, loosely overlying a substratum of hard snow 
had cracked; it gave way and slid towards the 
bottom with all four climbers. They all seemed 
lost, when their downward course was fortunately 
arrested by a small snowy ledge projecting some 
650 ft. (200 m.) deeper out of the slope. All four 
were able to work their way uninjured out of the 
snowy masses, and nothing had to be regretted, save 
the loss of some hats and ice-axes, which could not 

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be recovered The Kossack^ paralysed by firi^^t, 
completely lost his senses. The three others were 
inconsolable at the fSetilure of the attempt, which 
in Herr PfSetnn's opinion must have led to the 
discovery of the position of Khan-Tengri; yet 
another year elapsed, before he was found to be 
right. So near to the wished-for goal had their 
hopes been wrecked. 

And now for me the outcome of all past ex- 
periences was that in the highest regions of the 
Tian-Shan it was perhaps only under quite ex- 
ceptionally fi&vourable conditions that the snow 
can acquire that consistency which permits the 
ascent of peaks, rising above 16,404 ft. (5,000 m.), 
unless indeed it can be made on rocky ground. 
Only the lofty rocky crests are for the most part ex- 
tremely precipitous, and, as appeared from further 
experiences, owing to the influence of excessive 
thermal contrasts, so profoundly shattered that 
the attempt to scale them often encounters un- 
surmountable obstacles. Ascents through rocky 
gorges and couloirs have to be avoided on account 
of the great risks, incurred from falling stones. 
Hence only a very few of the loftiest Tian-Shan 
summits hold out favourable prospects to the 
Alpine climber. 

Bearing this in mind during the subsequent 
course of the expedition, I avoided difficult Alpine 
undertakings, and henceforth ascended only such 
mountains as might from their position offer the 
promise of commanding prospects, affording an 
insight into the structure of the mountain range, 

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and at the same time seemed accessible to ex- 
perienced Alpinists without exposure to great 

Meanwhile a period of unfavourable weather had 
set in, and all operations were prevented by daily 
snow-storms. Tliis obliged me to leave the 
Semenoff glacier, the accurate measurement of 
which by triangulation was not carried out till 
the following year. As we had made sure that 
Khan-Tengri does not lie too witliin the basin of 
the Mushketoff glacier, I decided at once to pene- 
trate into the next great paraUel valley, that of 
the Inylchek, and there look for it. 

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We moved some twenty-three miles down the Sary- 
jass valley, which soon loses its picturesque aspect. 
Owing to the already mentioned causes, the chain, 
skirting the right bank, shows rounded crests, 
pierced only by a few upland gorges, but no 
glaciers. The left bank still maintains for a 
short distance its high Alpine character. It is dis- 
posed in separate sections by deep transverse valleys, 
harbouring glaciers. These glaciers breaking out 
firom the ravines, combined with the glittering 
snows of the peaks enclosing them, form a lovely 
contrast to the deep green of the main valley and 
its slopes, carpeted with Alpine meadows. 

The most important of these tributaries is 
the Adjrr-tjrr valley, which above its mouth, 
turning in a swift course to the east, flows 
approximately parallel to the Semenoff valley, 
which it nearly rivals in length, breadth, and 
wealth of glaciers, and even surpasses in the 
height and grandeur of its mountains. Its upper 
course is filled by a glacier, which Ignatieff has 
named the Mushketoflf glacier, of which more 
farther on. 


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The wide green prairies of the Sary-jass, averag- 
ing one mile, but in places broadening out to 
two miles, showing the character of the treeless 
and scrubless upland steppe, display soft rounded 
forms, which are due to the old morainic deposits, 
fringing the scarps of the valley. Such lateral 
moraines on the left side, well preserved in two 
stages, accompany at intervals the upper course of 
the valley. On the right side, even on the plateau- 
like ridges are morainic deposits and debris now 
to be seen, frequently also glacier scorings high 
up on the rocky walls. The valley-bed is filled 
with old ground-moraines, covered by marshy 
meadows with small tarns, relics of the large lakes, 
which, being dammed up by terminal moraines, 
formerly filled the basin-shaped expanses. The 
origin of some of these expanses is obviously due to 
the lateral erosion of the river. Another, above 
the Adyr-t)T valley, has been caused by a kind of 
cleavage {Scharuiig\ the ridges receding from each 
other in consequence of some sudden change in 
the strike of the strata. The phenomenon must 
in some way be connected with the already-men- 
tioned {xnde p. 42) faults and fractures in the lateral 
valleys. At the mouth of the Adyr-tyr valley, over 
one verst broad, the granite and the phyUitic rocks 
associated with it, disappear below the surface; 
the limestones of the chain on the left bank 
of the Adyr-tyr valley strike outwards, and form 
farther on in the Sary-jass the southern ramparts, 
whose ridges hence rapidly diminish in height. 
Beyond them the superb glaciated highlands of 

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the Kulu-Tau come into view, with an extremely 
bold eminence, towering up as a solitary peak. 
The slates and marbles, present on the right bank 
in flakes are absent on the left bank. 

From a broad gap in the limestone range on 
the left bank some seven miles below the mouth 
of the Adyr-tyr, the copious Tys-ashu river flows 
to the Sary-jass, and drains a much-ramified valley 
region, not shown on the maps. This group 
of valleys lies in a tangle of mountains with a 
north-westerly slope, and is enclosed between the 
high range, forming the left bank of the Adyr- 
tyr valley, trending north-westwards, and the 
chain, stretching south-westwards along the right 
bank of the Inylchek vaUey. In the obtuse 
angle, formed by the two widely diverging chains, 
lies an extensive plateau-like nev^, which is 
gently inclined, and in both chains develops blunt, 
tent-shaped, snowy summits. From the breaks be- 
tween these eminences, sweeping round in a wide 
ciurve descend flat, trough- shaped ravines, filled with 
nev^, and disposing in radiating sections the broad 
stretches of land, which slope quite gently down to 
the Sary-jass valley. By a lofty plateau ridge, 
"Tur," which has escaped all erosive action, the 
whole system of valleys is disposed in two groups 
— ^that of the Kusgun-ya valleys, which will be dis- 
cussed farther on, and that of the Tys-ashu valleys. 
Kongul-jol, Achik-tash, Mai-bulak, Tys-ashu I. 
and II. are the names of the more important 
radiating head-channels, which unite in a main 
.stream also called Tys-ashu (Tys-ashu means the 

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ramifying of a level tract). The tracts of nev^ 
which lie in the broad, shallow upland troughs of 
these valleys are at present separated one fix)m the 
other by considerable masses of morainic refuse, dis- 
posed in ridges. Two only still show conspicuous 
stretches of glaciers, which, however, soon come to 
an end amongst the debris of their ground-moraines. 
From the whole aspect of the land it is seen at 
once that all that now remains of isolated nev^ 
is but the remnant of a once continuous and very 
extensive ice-cap. From these glacial masses was 
developed a huge glacier, which formerly spread 
over the lower parts of the district, and joined the 
at-one-time-mighty Sary-jass glacier. The whole 
of the wide Tys-ashu domain, which is amongst 
the favourite grazing-grounds of the Kirghiz, 
presents a superb morainic landscape of a typical 
character, such as is elsewhere rarely to be seen. 
The rocky walls, too, are polished to a great height 
by glacial action. Standing later on an elevated 
position, I was able to ascertain that the great 
glacier, to which it owed its existence, was formed 
by the combined glacial masses of the southern 
border-range of the Mushketoff glacier and the 
chain, skirting the north side of the Inylchek 
glacier. In the trough-shaped depression of the 
Tys-ashu district the hills are literally buried 
beneath morainic drift, now covered with swampy 
Alpine meadows, so that only in a few places the 
rocks are seen cropping out — ^limestone disposed in 
narrow folds, stretching northwards, granite, and 
phyllitic schists. 

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Just here the chain on the north side of the 
Inylchek valley is greatly depressed, while the 
southern range under the same meridian is up- 
heaved to one of its highest elevations, one of the 
most imposing mountains in the whole Tian-Shan 
system. Hence to a person, standing in the lower 
part of the Tys-ashu valley, and looking upwards 
along the broad, gently rising, trough-like valley, 
the deceptive impression is conveyed that the ex- 
tensive nev^ at the head of the valley runs straight 
up to the wild and precipitous glacial walls of the 
huge Inylchek peak, which seems to close the 
Tys-ashu valley. What lies between remains 
hidden from the eye of the obser\"er. Evidently 
this impression misled Professor KrassnofF himself 
when, in bad weather too, he penetrated a little 
way into the Tys-ashu valley, named by him the 

He writes {Sapiski, Imp. Russ. G. G. vol. 
xix. 1888, p. 89) : " The third glacier, which is 
not even mentioned by IgnatiefF, and is omitted 
even on his map, is the glacier which lies at the 
foot of Tesnyk-basy, perhaps one of the highest 
peaks after Khan-Tengri, and bears, like the peak, 
the name Tesnyk-basy. This glacier with its 
snow-fields is obviously connected with those of the 
Inylchek glacier region. The valley of the Tesnyk- 
basy, the second affluent of the Sary-jass on the 
left, I followed as far as the frontal moriunes of 
this glacier, which was evidently but little inferior 
to the Mushketoff glacier. To my regret I was 
prevented by the bad weather," etc. 

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In the dividing wall between Tys-ashu and 
Inylchek there occurs an ice-clad pass about 
18,800 ft. (4,050 m.), which, as affording the nearest 
access to the Inylchek valley, I crossed with the 
caravan, though not without some difficulty. This 
I call the Tys-ashu pass. During the ascent of the 
pass the track lies between limestones and limestone 
schists, which have an east-north-east trend, but 
in the vicinity of the pass, develop folds dipping 
north and with granite cropping out along their 
edge. Owing to its close contact with the granite, 
very little of its great wealth of fossils has been 
preserved by this carboniferous limestone forma- 
tion. Nevertheless, by repeatedly crossing the pass 
we managed later, to collect some that could be 
identified. On the south side of the pass the 
limestones are tinged red, calcined, and greatly 
disintegrated. There also occur conglomerates 
and friction-breccias, indicating the discharge of 
eruptive matter from a spot, which I was later 
able to locate on the north-east side of the pass 
in the neighbouring Kusgun-ya valley. 

Flanking the gate-like entrance of the pass 
there shoot up hundreds of obelisk-like limestone 
crags, into which the masses have been decomposed 
by the marvellous action of erosion. If from 
these strange surroundings we tmn to the south 
and east, we see, some 8,800 ft. (1,000 m.) lower 
down, the boulder-strewn floor of the broad trough 
of the Inylchek valley, walled round by many- 
crested snowy ranges, whose crest-line rises with 
an average elevation of over 8,000 ft. (2,500 m.) 


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above the valley bottom. The eye also lights 
a little higher up on an ice-field of extraordinary 
extent, similarly bordered and stretching away 
to the east. 

Even though the observer be accustomed to the 
sight of the loftiest eminences on the globe, the 
Himalayas, Karakorum, etc., a feeling of wonder 
and amazement will still be produced by the first 
view of the extraordinarily abrupt southern border- 
range of the Inylchek valley. Here are unfolded 
the mightiest elevations of the Tian-Shan. A 
gigantic range, surmounted by the wildest and 
most rugged snowy peaks of the most diverse 
forms ever sculptured by the creative forces of 
nature, is seen stretching away to the east for a 
distance of some fifty miles, altogether one of 
the grandest Alpine pictures on the globe. Amid 
this proud phalanx the most magnificent is one 
mountain which rises opposite the pass, the 
same that, as already stated, is partly visible 
ftt)m the Tys-ashu valley. It is difficult to 
conjure up an adequate picture of the mighty, 
far-reaching spiu*s of this giant, of the wildness 
of its many fractured crests, the splendour of its 
precipitous glaciers, carved in a thousand varied 
forms and broken into endless fragments. I do 
not hesitate to pronounce this marvellous moun- 
tain mass, some 21,800 ft. (6,500 m.) high, to 
be the grandest in the Tian-Shan. For it an 
appropriate name should certainly be foimd. The 
Central Tian-Shan attains its highest mean altitude 
not, as hitherto supposed, in the southern chain 

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of the Semenoff glacier, but in this range, whose 
crest trends away to the east-north-east at an 
average elevation of 18,000 ft. (5,500 m.). From 
this point there is a gradual fall of the mountain 
mass towards the south. To our surprise, however, 
Khan-Tengri, the absolutely highest eminence of 
the Tian-Shan, did not appear in this range, and 
the question of the position of its actual basis 
still remained unsolved. 

Seen from the pass the Inylchek glacier already 
produces a profound impression, although its lower 
section, being for many miles completely covered 
with debris, has not at all the air of an ice-stream, 
and, owing to the windings of its bed, its whole 
course cannot be taken in at a glance. Neverthe- 
less, it struck us all at once that IgnatieflTs estimate 
(eight miles long) feU far short of the reality, 
although the enormous extent of the glacial stream 
was not made fiiily evident till the next year's 
exploration. The bed of the vaUey beyond the 
glacier has an extremely slight incline, and 
throughout its upper course, with an average 
breadth of a mile, it forms a shingly desert, 
completely levelled in by its covering of detritus, 
through which the mighty stream ramifies ir- 
regularly. Despite this distribution of its volume 
the crossing is difficult, as each branch still has 
a deep bed of considerable breadth — ^in fact, a 
copious and rapid stream. Where these waters 
unite in a single arm, at certain reaches of the 
middle course, the crossing is possible only in the 
early morning. As during the next year I ascended 

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the valley through its whole length from its con- 
fluence with the Saiy-jass to the Tys-ashu pass, 
and as in the later part of this report I shall 
have to deal with the observaticHis then made, 
I will confine myself for the present to a few 
details of the physical features of the upper 

Here also basin-shaped expanses up to a breadth 
of two miles are met with. Such a tract, some 
thirteen miles below the lower end of the glacier, 
is blocked by a low ridge of limestone schist diffi, 
forming a barrier, which with a length of nearly 
two miles, stretches obliquely across the bottom of 
the valley^ here some two miles wide, so that an 
opening of not more than about 500 ft. (150 m.) 
is left for the outflow of the waters. On the 
extremely disturbed and dislocated rocks of this 
old barrier there still lie the remains of old ground 
moraines. In this vaUey, too, the old glacial 
deposits acquire quite an extraordinarydevelopment. 
On the descent firom the Tys-ashu pass we already 
meet with them here and there, 1,000 ft (800 m.) 
below the level of the pass— that is, 2,000—2,800 ft 
(600 — ^700 m.) above the bottom of the valley — and 
in like proportions they are seen along the downward 
course of the valley. Hence nearly aU the mouths 
of the transverse valleys stand very high above the 
present bed of the main valley. Of these transverse 
valleys, however, only a very few occur throughout 
the whole middle and lower course ot this long 
river-bed. Owing to the rapid change of climate 
after the retreat of the lateral glaciers in the post- 

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glacial epoch, erosion had no longer produced any 
great effects in this district, as I have already shown 
by other examples {Me pp. 85, 45). In the Inyeklch 
valley also, as in the other large longitudinal valleys 
and for like reasons that have already been dis- 
cussed, the imposing Alpine character is confined 
to the southern flanking range, at least in the 
ice-free part of the valley. 

In the upper course all vegetation, except a 
rubble flora, is banished from the bed of the 
valley, and confined to the slopes on both sides, 
where, however, it is displayed in the sharpest 
contrasts. The slope on the right bank, facing 
southwards, is treeless and scrubless, and only the 
lower part covered with thin stunted, grassy growths, 
which assume the aspect of meadows only in a 
few tracts, sheltered from intense insolation by the 
disposition of the slope. On the other hand, the 
slope on the left bank, facing northwards, is decked 
with bright Alpine meads, and strangely contrasting 
with the woodless Sary-jass valley, even shows some- 
what dense patches of pines. This is all the more 
remarkable since the Inylchek vaUey, although 
it has the same trend as the Sary-jass valley, lies 
considerably farther south, and according to my 
meteorological records is distinguished by greater 
dryness of the atmosphere ; while on the other 
hand, in the Sary-jass valley even the slope facing 
southwards is carpeted with lovely Alpine meadows, 
which are missing in the parts of the Inylchek 
valley, enjoying the same aspect. On the contrary, 
on the soutiiem slopes of the Inylchek valley pine- 

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groves are met with, wherever the least mountain 
debris has been brought down from the steep 
rocky walls of the valley and deposited in cones at 
the foot of the cliffs, or where morainic drift lies on 
banks and terraces. The discrqmncy of these re- 
lations cannot be explained by the nature of the soil, 
since the constituent elements of the mountains are 
of much the same character in both valleys. For 
a distance of about twelve miles on the same 
side of the valley a green zone stretches fix)m 
the end of the glacier tongue along the foot of 
the rocky walls far up in the frigid zone. Short 
Alpine grasses, a rich Alpine flora, and, besides 
other bushy plants, the Caragana shrub (Siberian 
Pea-tree) of dense forest-like growth, form the 
chief components of this pleasant floral zone, which 
extends right up to the region of pereimial frosts 
and is associated vtdth old lateral morainic drift. 

Strange to say, for about the same distance (some 
twelve miles) the glacier is covered across its whole 
average width of about two miles by a moimd of 
morainic debris and large boulders at least 450 ft. 
(100 m.) high. By atmospheric influences, by the 
erosion of the waters and by the movement of the 
glacier, this mound has been disposed in ridges and 
peaks of the most diverse forms, valleys, troughs, 
cauldrons — in a word, every form developed by a 
real mountain range. The material for this work 
has for the most part been supplied from the 
slopes of the chains skirting the main valley and 
from those of its ravine-like lateral valleys, which 
along the lower course of the glacial stream are 

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free from ice up to a considerable height. Owing 
to the extraordinary fluctuations of the tempera- 
ture in this valley, and its southerly position, 
the disintegration of the rocks has been carried to 
an unusual extent, while the material entering 
into the structure of the mountains, here mainly 
schists, offers but slight resistance to such 
influences. Still, the climatic conditions alone 
could not have caused such great effects, had they 
not been supplemented by the incredible disturb- 
ance of the strata. Here we are in a region of the 
most profound and manifold dislocations, which 
are exposed in many places on both sides in the 
cliffs, skirting the lower course of the glacier. 

That seismic movements, however, have not yet 
ceased in this region was shown by an earthquake, 
which occurred on the morning of August 22nd, 
1902, lasting about half a minute, and making itself 
felt in three very severe shocks, proceeding from 
below upwards. A fearftil, never-to-be-forgotten 
spectacle was presented as an immediate result 
of this disturbance on the precipitous glaciers of 
the gigantic mountain above described, at the foot 
of which we had established our headquarters. 
Huge masses of ice were set free, and came 
tumbling down with an indescribable crash into 
the gorges of the huge rocky buttresses, from 
which great columns of powdery snow and ice 
then rose up to the level of the snowy crests of 
the great mountain. 

The mound of detritus, piled up on the glacier 
is so compact that ice crops out only at the edges, 

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so that the ice-stream, although it descends lower 
than the Semenoff, is thus prevented from thawing, 
despite the fact of its penetrating far into a 
southern climate. As the melting waters are 
forced to seek an underground outlet beneath 
the overlying drift, they excavate rudimentary 
crevasses at the end of the glacier, scooping them 
into hollows, where the water is then collected. 
On the advent of the warm season the pent-up 
waters seem to occasionally burst their fetters, and 
discharge themselves with irresistible force over 
the plains, canying with them huge masses of ice. 
Even so late as the end of August in the year 
1902, and at a distance of two miles from the 
glacier, I came upon several blocks of ice as 
big as a house in the boulder-strewn Inylchek 
valley, exposed though it is to such extreme 
insolation. The only explanation I can offer of 
such a phenomenon is that above suggested. 

A visit to the glacier in two successive years 
enabled me to determine the altitude of its lower 
end, at about 10,500 ft. (8,200 m.). There were 
no indications at all of any recent retreat of the 
frozen stream. Its stability is sufficiently ex- 
plained by its enormous development, its slight 
incline — only about eighty feet per verst — and 
compact morainic covering, which itself stands 
in close relation with the slight incline. 

This mound of detritus necessarily makes the 
exploration of the lower section of the glacier 
extremely toilsome and fatiguing. In a day's 
march one can cover only a few miles. Being 

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unmindful of this circumstance, and also un- 
prepared for the vast dimensions of the glacier 
from the hitherto published reports of its magni- 
tude, and moreover unaware that at this season 
the valley is not even visited by the nomad 
Kirghiz, I had not brought sufficient supplies 
to meet the wants of the party for eight or ten 
days, the minimum of the time, required for 
profitable work on the glacier. The number of 
porters was also insufficient for such undertakings, 
while these fellows themselves struck work at 
critical moments, and broke out into open revolt 
against me. Under such circumstances I was fain 
to confine myself to a short excursion in the region 
of ice. 

The expedition separated into two parties. 
Herr Keidel descended the valley with a small 
party in order to make a survey of its geological 
structure, and with a view to acquiring some 
knowledge of the local conditions, he pushed on 
to the next large parallel longitudinal valley, the 
Kayndy valley, which lay to the south, but was 
still entirely unknown, and not even figured on 
the maps. As I next year explored this valley 
and another, stretching still farther south, informa- 
tion regarding them will be found in the later 
parts of this report 

Herr Pfann and I plodded across the mondnic 
mound of the glacier, making very slow progress. 
After covering about two miles, we saw, rising 
behind the heap of drift, a broad, massive rocky wall, 
dark, but capped with nev4. Much farther on, where 

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the ice begins to be free from debris, this rampart 
divides the wide glacial stream into two branches. 
When we got a little higher up, a bright, slender 
P3n*amid was seen towering into the air, but much 
farther back, at the side of the dark mass and 
close to its northern flank. We at once recognised 
it as the summit of Khan-Tengri. Owing to a 
peculiar bend in the axis of the valley and in the 
trend of the range, of which the dark rampart 
evidently forms part, the interesting picture seems 
to the eye shifted in such a way that the observer 
remains uncertain as to the grouping of the 
mountain ranges and the position of the breach, 
from which rises the pyramidal peak. A few 
hundred steps farther, and this peak is no longer 
seen at all. Still, there was great probability that 
it must stand somewhere in the Inylchek valley, 
or in one in some way connected with it In 
order, therefore, to get a better insight into these 
relations, we decided to make our way over to 
the left side, bivouac there on the edge of the 
glacier, and ascend a lofty summit, rising above 
the border-range. From such an elevation we 
hoped to get a clear notion, regarding the trend of 
the ranges along the valley and the position of 
Khan-Tengri, and to be able also to take telephoto- 
graphic views, since the unfavoiu-able circumstances, 
already mentioned, prevented us for the present 
from penetrating farther into the mysterious glacial 
region. Leaving the execution of this project to 
Herr Pfann, I undertook to investigate the com- 
plicated disturbances in the structure of the range ; 

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these can be best observed in the fine exposures 
of the steep walls on the right side of the vailey. 

However, the extremely crumbling state of 
the schists forming the rocky crest of the mountain 
to be scaled, together with the treacherous con- 
stitution of the upland snow, prevented Herr 
Pfenn from reaching the smnmit During the 
ascent atmospheric disturbances also set in, so that 
very little remained visible of the mountain ranges, 
A strong atmospheric pressure now prevailed, 
heralding snow-storms. To my deep regret I had 
in all haste to quit the valley, which I had so 
hastily explored, and of which I had seen so little ; 
but there was no option if my retreat over the 
pass was not to be cut off by the snow. Not 
till the next year, when I returned better prepared, 
was I successful in unravelling the mystery of the 
conformation of this valley, on which more details 
will be found in the later parts of this report. 

Here I should like just to draw attention to a 
peculiar phenomenon in the climatic relations of 
the valley. During the five days of my sojourn 
in it, there regularly sprang up in the later hours 
of the afternoon whirlwinds, which carried aloft 
considerable quantities of dust from the ground 
and again deposited them as loess on high-lying 
ledges and little terraces in the walls along the 
margin of the glacier. Extensive banks of this 
aeolian precipitation may be observed, especially 
along the left edge of the glacier. 

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On out return from the Tys-ashu to the Saiy- 
jass valley Herr Pfann and I left the caravan, 
and ascended the above-mentioned dividing ridge 
between the Kusgun-ya and Tys-ashu groups of 
valleys, the Tiu- plateau, about 12,800 ft. (8,750 m.). 
Here we saw the pjnramidal peak of Khan-Tengri, 
rising above the surrounding ranges far more 
boldly than from any of the other, even higher 
points hitherto visited. The ranges, however, as 
seen thence, seemed to be shifted in quite a 
peculiar way, so as to give the impression that 
K[han-Tengri rose at the head of a valley with a 
north-easterly trend towards the Musart pass, or 
a little to the south of this point, but at its 
origin apparently connected with the head of the 
Inylchek valley. The view was sketched and 
photographed, which took up so much time that 
we had to pay for our exploring teal by an 
exposed bivouac without shelter or provisions, 
and did not overtake the caravan till the following 
day, after crossing the Kapkak pass, about 
12,150 ft (8,700 m.). in the valley of the same 

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This valley, running some forty-three miles in 
a south to north direction, is amongst the most 
important transverse valleys along the upper 
course of the Tekes. The Kapkak pass lies at 
the converging point of foiu* valleys, as owing to a 
lateral thrust ( Vorwerfung) the ranges here diverge 
widely from each other. For this reason the 
Kapkak river, with its large and widely ramifying 
affluents, effects the drainage of a very extensive 
territory. The trip across this charming valley 
ranks amongst the most enjoyable excursions in 
the Tian-Shan. All the elements that combine 
to form a romantic Alpine dale are here repre- 
sented in the greatest profusion. The pine forests 
are magnificent, and contain trees of gigantic size. 
The development of the Alpine flora is, next to 
that of the Mukur-mutu valley, the richest and 
most luxuriant that I have seen in the Tian-Shan, 
while the growth of Alpine grasses is astonishing. 
Phyllites, granite, syenite, fossiliferous limestones, 
and calcareous slates form the geological structure, 
which resembles that of the Bayumkol valley, 
but owing to the disturbances, that have here 
taken place, presents in many respects a special 

For the study of the later vicissitudes of many 
Tian-Shan valleys the Kapkak basin offers some 
special features, particularly in its lower course. 
Although at its head nev^ and ice are at present 
quite insignificant, every indication of complete 
former glaciation may here be observed. In its 
upper course ancient moraines acquired an immense 

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development, and in its lower course the masses 
of fluvioglaeial rubble have in some places been 
deeply eroded by the river. Its course, which 
formerly lay more to the east, having been shifted 
by the resistance of such boulder deposits or by 
the ice, the stream has been compelled, in order 
to reach the Tekes, to eat its way through a 
mighty barrier of hard limestone in a steep im- 
penetrable canyon. The waters, formerly dammed 
up by glacial drift, have flooded basin-shaped 
expanses, thus forming lakes. The side-valleys 
which debouch here lie very high. They have been 
eroded in trough-like form, and although formerly 
enclosing small lakes, are now empty, while their 
mouth lies high above the beds of the former lakes 
of the main valley. Reasons for this disposition 
have already been several times dwelt upon {vide 
pp. 85, 45, 69). Later irruption of considerable bodies 
of running water may be assumed from the circum- 
stance that loose younger conglomerates are found 
deposited, high above tertiary formations, like that 
lying on the borders of the old basin-shaped 
expanses of the Tekes valley. These deposits 
extend in places even beyond the tertiary to the 
limestones. Besides the tertiary beds we also see, 
exactly as in the Tekes valley and at other places, 
great quantities of sand and debris, which are 
derived from disintegrated and eroded granites. 
During the subsequent course of the expedition I 
visited the Kara-kul-say, one of the largest lateral 
valleys of the Kapkak, in which there is still a lake, 
dammed up by old moraines, and in which the 

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indications of those, already vanished, are well pre- 
served (see particulars farther on). 

Towards the end of August, after my return 
to Narynkol, I lost some valuable days there in 
exchanging the worn-out horses, and especially in 
procuring fresh " Jigits " and porters to replace the 
former, to whose refi^actory conduct is partly attri- 
butable the fact, that so far the journey had jdelded 
such slight results. At last I was able, at the 
beginning of September, to return to the Bayxun- 
kol valley to resume the previous operations, inter- 
rupted by bad weather. I hoped to be favoured 
by more settled weather in the advanced season, 
when the contrasts of temperature between the 
plains and uplands are less pronounced. Unfortu- 
nately general atmospheric disturbances took place, 
again seriously impeding and dela3rLng our work. 
For the same reason the intended ascent of one 
of the high snowy peaks at the head of the valley 
had to be put off. The only ascent was that of a 
granite eminence, about 14,450 ft (4,400 m.), at the 
northern edge of the western glacier, from the top 
of which a panoramic view of the surrounding 
mountain ranges was obtained. Herr Pfann also, 
despite the unfavourable weather, was able to 
complete the survey of the western glacier, and to 
determine the height of the peaks of the border- 
ranges from an elevated basis. In the course of 
our wanderings in connection with these operations 
I came upon a breach about 14,000 ft. (4,250 m.), 
free from ice, in the ridge, which separates the 
Karakol river, flowing to the Sary-jass (see above) 

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fix)m the basin of the western Bayumkol glacier ; 
and here also 1 obtained a magnificent view of 
Khan-Tengri, appearing through a gap in the 
southern border-range. In this breach 1 found 
five decayed posts, jammed in between rocky 
boulders. At first I supposed they might have 
belonged to the IgnatiefF expedition, and that the 
breach in question was identical with the gap, 
which this traveller named the "Narynkol pass," 
and which he states is 18,580 ft high. After, 
however, again reading the passage in IgnatiefiTs 
report {Isvestiya Btoss. Geograph. Soc. voL xxiiL), 
I hesitated as to this assumption, because 
IgnatiefF made the descent fix)m the pass down 
to a glacier and traversed it lengthways on horse- 
back, which for the western Bayumkol glacier 
must be pronounced absolutely impossible. Nor 
could Narynkol be reached in one day fi:om this 
glacier, as is asserted by IgnatiefF. Lastly, the 
difference between our two determinations of 
height is so great, that these cannot have 
reference to the same position. Hence Ignatieff* 
must presumably have crossed at some other point. 
The western Bayumkol glacier is formed by the 
confluence of five glaciers, issuing from recesses 
in the walls enclosing the valley, and is much 
broken up, especially in its middle course, and 
its upper nev^ is likewise much crevassed. Here 
it communicates with the Semenoff* glacier by 
a snowy saddle about 14,450 ft. (4,400 m.), which I 
reached the following year from the SemenofF (see 
below), and is also connected with the upper nev^ 

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basin of the same Semenoff glacier by the 
Semenoff pass (see above). A connection also 
undoubtedly existed formerly with the Karakol 
glacier, and in the ice age all these glaciers 
evidently formed a continuous ice-field. At pre- 
sent the ridge between Karakol and Bayumkol is 
firee firom ice on the side (south-east), facing the 
latter valley, and here the sedimentary rocks (lime- 
stone, marble, clay schists) are seen lying finely 
exposed in several strata between the granites. 

Unusually heavy snowfalls at last drove us 
(September 20th) firom the uplands, where no 
fodder was any longer procurable for the horses. 
The snow already reached down to the Tekes 
valley, and I was fain to postpone till the next 
year all the explorations in my programme on the 
north side of the highlands, and cross over to the 
south side, where more favourable conditions might 
perhaps permit of more protracted operations. 


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After a few days' preparatory work, the expedi- 
tion left Narynkol on September 28rd, in order to 
surmount the Great Musart pass, which had 
already been traversed by a few Russian ex- 
peditions. Von Kaulbars has published some notes 
on the topography of the district, and IgnatiefF 
on its geology. 1 shall, therefore, in this report 
limit myself to some hitherto only partially known 
or quite unknown particulars, reserving for the 
more detailed account of the journey a series of 
physico-geographical observations, for which the 
crossing of this pass afforded ample opportunity. 

The downward route from Narynkol through the 
Tekes valley leads through one of the best-defined 
basins of the old frontal lakes which formerly lay 
at the base of the mountain range. On the 
southern border the outlines of the old terraced 
beaches have been excellently preserved. At the 
wide entrance to the Musart valley beds of 
fluvioglacial deposit form five ancient terraces, and 
for several miles, follow the course of the valley 
as longitudinal banks, nearly up to the foot of 
the mountain mass. 

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Here, in the vicinity of the first Chinese military 
post, where the copious Musart river emerges from 
the highlands, it is joined by its equally copious 
affluent, the Dondukol (on which more below). 
The united stream is not easily crossed, and 
through the carelessness of a " Jigit " during the 
passage, the expedition met with an accident of 
far-reaching consequence. One of the packhorses 
stumbled, and his load — ^two tin boxes bought 
as " ah'-tight " — ^fell into the water. When fished 
out, the contents were found thoroughly saturated. 
Amongst them were a great number of large, 
exposed "Edward films," shut up in tin boxes, 
which were supposed to be " absolutely air-tight." 
Relying on this, we omitted to open them im- 
mediately after the mishap, and when we did so 
later on, it was found that water had penetrated 
through, destroying all the films. Sixty views, 
6^ by 8 English inches in size, mostly panoramas 
and telepanoramas, taken from lofty positions, the 
fruits of indescribable toil and care, the main 
result of the summer's photographic operations, 
geographical docmnents of priceless value, were 
irreparably lost. By this disaster the course to 
be followed by the expedition in the next year 
was in a way already marked out. Records so 
important for the topography of the Central 
Tian-Shan, could not be dispensed with. It was 
necessary above all to revisit the more conspicuous 
points, from which the lost photographs had been 
taken. However keenly felt the damage was at 
the time, still it proved beneficial in the end. 

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Being compelled again to retraverse the uplands 
already visited, and being then also more familiar 
with all the local conditions, and moreover favoured 
by good weather, I was able in the following year 
to work better and more successfully than in the 
first summer, and in most cases to find the solution 
of what had hitherto puzzled me in the structure 
of the Central Tian-Shan. 

At the entrance of the Great Musart valley 
is seen a vast series of chloritic schists, often inter- 
stratified with phyllitoid schists. Just before emerg- 
ing from the highlands, the river breaks through 
masses of red granite, which are followed higher 
up by a narrow zone of gneiss. But aphanites are 
soon developed over a wide area, and farther up 
the valley, where they again approach a granite 
stratum, they assume more and more the char- 
acter of schists. These schists, with an almost 
northerly strike (N. by 10° E., which for this region 
is abnormal), have been thrown into irregular 
narrow folds. Pressure-phenomena occur also in 
the granite, which not infi^uently assumes the 
form of granitic gneiss. Limestones and clay- 
slates, cropping out between the granites, have, 
owing to dynamo-metamorphic processes, been 
pressed, the former into schistose, the latter into 
crystalline forms. More regular conditions do not 
appear till far back in the valley, where a normal 
easterly trend (N. by 7"* E.) is resumed. Here 
the granite occurs under very diversified forms, 
even as porphyritic granite, and in some parts 
is replaced by syenite. Over a somewhat wide 

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zone it is followed by gneiss and other crystalline 
schists. Yet the nearer we approach the head of 
the valley the more prevalent become dark, more or 
less crystalline limestones, clay-slates, and marbles, 
from which, as in the other large valleys, are 
exclusively built up the sections of the crests, be- 
longing to the main water-dividing range. Here, 
however, also occur great masses of dolomitised 
limestones, which present the same bold and 
fantastic simimits as we are familiar with in the 
dolomitic limestone highlands of South Tjrrol, 
and under these forms they flank the defile of 
the Musart pass southwards throughout nearly 
its whole length. 

The Great Musart valley, as far as it lies within 
the highlands, has a length of from thirty-six to 
forty miles, and is distinguished from the other 
large Central Tian-Shan valleys by the somewhat 
steeper incline of its bed (average about ninety to 
ninety-five feet per mile). At the outlet of the 
river from its narrow upland course, about 6,200 ft. 
(1,900 m.) great quantities of fluvio-glacial drift are 
deposited on both sides of the valley, where they 
form terraces {vide p. 28). At the confluence of the 
Dondukol (not Maralta, as it is wrongly called by 
Ignatieff), which here joins the main stream at an 
obtuse angle, these terraces either intersect or are 
piled up against similar formations deposited by 
this affluent. Like other Tian-Shan valleys, that 
of the Great Musart is likewise disposed in basin- 
shaped expanses, which are connected by gorge-like 
narrows. These narrows are for the most part 

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choked by old moraine deposits, through which the 
river has everywhere cut itself deep channels, which, 
however, rarely reach down to the bed-rock. In 
the basin-shaped expanses the moraine debris is 
found deposited for the most part on the left bank 
in step-like terraces, rising one above the other. 
During the ascent the traveller wanders along 
the picturesque valley on the slopes of the left 
bank, decked with magnificent pine groves, 
especially in the middle course, exclusively over 
Alpine meads and forest-bearing old morainic 
soiL In several places the old terminal moraines 
are of enormous dimensions. At the confluence 
of the Khamer-davan, about 7,900 ft. (2,400 m.), 
of which more farther on, lies the largest of these 
beds, which has a width of nearly two miles and 
forms a huge mound in the valley. Another 
nearly as large lies about seven miles higher up, 
at an altitude of some 8,400 ft (2,600 m.), and 
still maintains a height of 250 ft. above the level 
of the valley. The morainic drift is conspicuous 
to a considerable height on the walls of the valley, 
while ice-worn rocks and roches mmitonn^s may 
be observed on the face of the cliffs. Here also, 
besides several deeply eroded lateral valleys of 
ancient origin— Dondukol, Khamer-davan, Atun- 
bulak, etc. — one can distinguish a series of high- 
lying trough-shaped, younger valleys with cirques 
at their heads, and the mouths of which are raised 
high above the present bed of the main stream, 
thus indicating the former level of the chief glacier, 
which once filled up the whole valley. They still 

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retain small glaciers. A peculiar phenomenon 
in this wind-sheltered valley is the deposit of 
loess-like beds of considerable thickness (fifty to 
sixty feet) on old morainic terraces. They appear 
to be formations of fluvial origin, although showing 
a resemblance to aerial loess. About half-way up 
the valley there occur hot springs (48'' C), near 
which the Kalmuks have built some primitive 
huts, while utilising them as medical baths. They 
well up in the valley-bed at the level of about 
8,400 ft (2,550 m.), in the zone, where crystalline 
schists and granites come in contact with greatly 
disturbed limestones. 

At the point where the valley-bed describes a 
semicircular curve of short radius towards the 
east, the range on the right bank, apparently 
shutting in the valley, rises to a series of bold 
lofty peaks, about 18,000 fL (5,500 m.), which, 
owing to their northerly exposure, tower with 
their fronts completely enveloped in snow and 
ice, superbly above a darkly-wooded old moraine. 
At their foot the wildest of the big glacial streams, 
that I have seen in the Tian-Shan, bursts out from 
a lateral valley, coming from the east, and is dis- 
solved into a series of wonderful cataracts, with 
thousand-fold seracs. This glacier on reaching the 
bottom of the main valley turns northwards, and 
ends at a height of 9,000 ft (2,750 m.), a little 
above the third Chinese post, where it is separated 
from the main stream by a huge lateral moraine, 
which it has here deposited. Judging from the 
height of this morainic ridge (up to 200 ft.), from the 

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immense size of the boulders, consisting exclusively 
of light dolomitic limestone and marble, and from 
the great thickness of the ice at its tongue, this 
still unexplored glacial stream must be of great 
length. Beyond doubt it has its source at the 
dividing ridge, by which the head of one of the 
upper affluents of the Agiass, which flows north 
to the Tekes, is separated from the Musart valley, 
From there also — ^that is to say, from the main 
crest of the Khalyk-Tau in the east — ^stretch the 
dolomitic limestones and marbles, composing the 
above-mentioned lofty snowy peaks, and abutting 
here on the granites and gneisses. The protection, 
afforded by this rampart with its northerly 
face, has secured an exceptionally mild climate 
to the part of the valley, lying behind, despite 
its great elevation (9,200 ft, ; 2,800 m.) The 
result is seen in a wonderfully beautifiil bush 
and forest vegetation, ranging right up to the 
glacier ice. 

The Musart pass is a "wall-pass," whose ir- 
regular flat top has an extent of over ten miles. 
From the north side, the oscent, which starts from 
the elevated terraces at the head of the northern 
Musart valley (about 9,500 fL ; 2,900 m.), is short 
and steep up to the plateau; the descent to the 
south, down to the Tamga-tash post (about 9,050 ft. ; 
2,760 m.) is long and gradual, excepting a few 
steep steps, so that the two sections are imlike. 
An anomaly is seen in the fact that the glacier 
on the north is short, while that on the south 
side is very extensive. The Yalin-Khanz)m glacier. 

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descending northwards, is now merely an insignifi- 
cant remnant of a formerly extensive ice-stream. 
It terminates at a level of about 10,200 ft. 
(8,100 m.), and is almost entirely covered with 
detritus, so that a little ice is visible only at the 
confluences of small lateral glaciers. The watershed 
between it and the Jiparlik glacier, descending 
southwards, is almost obliterated. Owing mainly 
to the very shifting accumulations of morainic drift, 
it is difficult to determine the culminating point 
of the pass. We considered this to coincide with 
a small plateau, whose altitude was calculated by 
a preliminary survey at about 11,480 ft. (8,500 m.). 
Ignatieffs figure is 12,240 ft. (8,780 m.). 

Near the top of the pass on its southern slope 
the mighty Jiparlik glacier descends from the east- 
north-east. The glacial stream where it covers 
the highest plateau of the pass is nearly free from 
ddbris, and over a slightly inclined stretch of 
several versts the surface ice is divided into millions 
of tiny, tent-shaped knolls, the origin of which is to 
be attributed to peculiar melting processes. As far 
as the eye can penetrate up the course of the glacier, 
from 800 to 400 m. or about 1,200 ft broad, high 
snowy mountains (limestone and marble) are visible 
along its margins. But owing to a bend in the 
valley the source itself cannot be seen. It seems 
to lie in the same dividing ridge as the already 
mentioned large glacier, which joins at the bend 
of the main stream. Near its outlet on the 
plateau of the pass, an arm of the chief glacier, 
branching off to the south-west, stretches obliquely 

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across the plateau, and disappears in an opening 
facing the south-west in the wall of the west 
margin. The main glacier itself trends, with an 
average breadth of one and a half miles, first 
south-eastwards, then southwards, and terminates 
at a height of about 9,500 ft. (2,900 m.) in a 
tongue (now rapidly retreating) above the Tamga- 
tash post. Here a waterfall bursts out through 
a gate-like aperture in the ice-walL At the time 
of my visit, above the lowest cavity were still to 
be seen two other, quite similar but empty cave- 
like outlets, standing one above the other in the 
terminal wall of the glacier. Hence the stream 
had evidently cut its bed deeper and deeper in the 
ice. Its waters had once been danuned up in 
a morainic lake about two miles long and one 
mile wide in front of the glacier. As far as the 
glacier covers the plateau of the pass on its gently 
inclined southern slope, the ice is almost hidden by 
a coating of debris ; where it shows itself it is beset 
with a very large number of funnels, in each of 
which lie one or more large boulders, whose great 
absorption of heat gave rise to these hollows. On 
the rocky enclosing walls, over 8,800 ft. (1,000 m.) 
high, the traces may everywhere be noticed of the 
grinding force of the glacier ice, indicating how it 
formerly completely filled the upland valley. On 
the left bank, at the foot of an ice-polished marble 
wall 1,800 ft. (400 m.) high, the ruins of a rfiazar 
and of the Mazar-bashi post stand on a rocky, gently 
inclined terrace. At this point, where a lateral 
glacier debouches, the main glacier breaks with a 

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fall of about 850 ft. to a lower terrace, where its 
glacial masses are dissolved in wild seracs, horns, 
and pinnacles, separated by yawning chasms. This 
is the famous passage which has been a terror for 
hundreds of years, and cannot be surmounted by 
the caravans without the aid of the guards at the 
Tamga-tash post, who have excavated regular stair- 
cases in the icy pinnacles. But the skeletons of 
pack-animals, strewn about in large numbers, show 
how great are the perils of the passage, despite all aid. 
Nevertheless, this pass is still relatively the easiest 
for communication between the north and south 
sides. A caravan, floundering amid this maze of icy 
turrets presents a strange spectacle. At the foot 
of the succeeding glacial terrace an extensive lake 
occupies a hollow in the ice near the left bank. 
The whole length of the Jiparlik glacier cannot 
be estimated at less than sixteen miles. 

It has already been pointed out that dolomite 
limestone, carved into exceptionally bold peaks, 
together with white marble, forms the prevailing 
constituent of the ramparts, flanking the Musart 
pass. These light-coloured masses stand in sharp 
contrast with the dark jagged walls of highly meta- 
morphosed eruptive rocks, which uninterruptedly 
accompany the metamorphic sedimentary beds 
from the head of the defile in the north down 
to its southern end and far beyond it, both sets 
of strata sharing in the later contortion, of which 
extraordinary instances are here and there grandly 
exposed. Owing to the prevalence of a north- 
easterly trend with a marked incline to the east, 

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gneiss and syenite are noticed only on the north 
side of the pass. 

The route through the southern Musart valley, 
which has a length of about sixty miles, with a 
breadth of from one to two miles, presents great 
interest in two respects. In the first place, there 
are the tremendous dislocations, to which not only 
the igneous rocks (gneiss, granite, syenite), but also 
the sedimentary formations, have all been sub- 
jected, and then the great masses of eruptive rock 
(diorite, porph3rrite) which have burst through 
both series. A more carefiJ study of the con- 
ditions observed will be needed, before it can be 
decided whether the disturbances were in the first 
instance caused by the intrusive igneous rocks, and 
hence were to a certain extent local, or whether 
the whole masdf was affected by wide-ranging 
convulsions, followed or accompanied by the in- 
trusion of the magma in the chasms thus formed. 
Here, too, as is so often the case, the zone of 
contact awakens the deepest interest. Extensive 
metamorphic phenomena are seen, not only in 
the contact zone of the erupted matter with the 
sedimentary and old crystalline rocks, but also 
where these two are found associated together. 
During our second visit to the valley, Herr 
Keidel made a complete collection of specimens 
from the contact zones. 

In the southern Musart valley granite, syenite, 
gneiss, etc., occur, only at greater distances from 
the central ranges than in any of the northern 
and southern transverse valleys, visited by me — ^that 

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is, only in the outer section of the valley, up to 
where sedimentary rocks alone enter into the 
structure of the highlands. Gneisses are far more 
extensively developed than had hitherto been sup- 
posed. Between the Khailik-Mabuse and Tograk 
posts they form an uninterrupted zone three miles 
long, sharply limited at both ends. Chloritic and 
highly metamorphosed schists are interstratified 
with granites. The limestones too, occuring 
here, became more or less crystalline. The walls 
of the ranges, running obliquely to the trend of 
the valley, often perpendicularly cut to a height of 
4,900 ft. (1,500 m.) and more, show in their strata 
the most remarkable and diversified bendings, 
crumplings, and foldings of the vertically disposed 
sedimentary beds even down to the minutest 
wrinkles, with exposures on the grandest scale, and 
always most pronounced in the neighbourhood of 
intruding dioritic rocks. In some places the 
intrusion of the magma is in dykes, accompanied 
by extensive apophysic formations. Despite the 
dynamic effects, accompanying the powerftd dis- 
location of the sedimentary beds, Herr Keidel 
succeeded in finding a limestone bed that had 
been spared, and in it collected a faima belonging 
to the upper carboniferous age. This justifies the 
conclusion that these limestones of the middle and 
lower valley, and the crystalline masses between 
which they rest, are ftom a tectonic point of view 
to be separated from the older palaeozoic lime- 
stones of the head of the valley and fix)m the 
metamorphic eruptive rocks, folded together with 

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them. Old crystalline conglomerates begin to 
occur in the second section of the valley, but do 
not appear in larger masses till near its outlet, 
where they are associated with sandstones and 
metamorphic schists between the lateral Ak-topa 
and Moro-khotan valleys. Exposures in walk 
1,800—1,600 ft. (400—500 m.) high also reveal 
in these conglomerates extraordinary strains and 
twists in the strata. The great pressure is attested 
by blocks of conglomerate, which are strewn 
about, and whose constituents have been crushed 
out lengthwise. These conglomerates also form the 
slope of the range, facing the valley of the Musart- 
daria, flowing to the east, of which more farther 
on. A few miles beyond, where we struck south 
firom the Musart, sandstones again occur on the 
slope of the range facing the steppe at the mouth 
of the Kash-bulak valley. These are compressed 
in close folds together with coarse, schistose- 
calcareous and fine conglomerates like grauwacke, 
and in places contain fractured, laminated, shiny 
carboniferous clay slates (Lettenkohlenschiefer), 
elsewhere even real anthracite. 

No less interesting than the peculiar geological 
features of the Musart valley are the indications 
of its former extensive glaciation. If in this valley, 
trending southwards, the old morainic deposits are 
seen in much larger quantities and less destroyed 
than in the great glacial valleys on the north side, 
the explanation, as ah-eady rightly suggested by 
Ignatieff, is that in the north, owing to. the very 
extensive glaciation, which to a considerable extent 

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even now continues, the old masses of boulder drift 
were for a long period, and are to the present day, 
exposed to the vigorous erosive action of the melt- 
ing waters. Here in the south, on the contrary, 
where the present glaciation is relatively slight, 
the climate much dryer, and in any case, even 
in the post-glacial period, was subjected to more 
rapid changes than in the north, the destructive 
and obliterating forces were less effective in the 
interior of the valleys. 

Here we see first of all that in some places the 
valley was blocked by old frontal moraines, and 
elsewhere by the accumulation of diluvial deposits 
at natural constrictions, forming six basin-like 
expanses, which represent so many former lakes. 
In the second basin, morainic drift lies on high 
terraces, from 1,000 to 1,800 ft. (800 — 400 m.) 
above the level of the valley, while scorings on 
the surface of the rocky walls here, as farther 
out in the valley, extend considerably higher 
up. In some places, as in the fourth basin, the 
foot of the mountain barrier is literally buried 
in morainic drift up to a considerable height, 
and this ddbris forms, for a distance of one and 
a half miles, a compact covering of the broad 
channel of the valley still over 200 ft. thick, 
although much of it has already been swept 
away. There, dry weathering has reduced the 
boulders (marbles, limestones) to sand and dust, 
above which the still remaining blocks partly 
project. By these products of weathering a long 
stretch of the valley has been transformed to a 

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real sandy desert, whose dune-like eminences are 
bound together by plants of genuine desert type. 
The finer particles have been borne aloft and 
deposited as loess on elevated terraces, where they 
often attain a thickness of from forty to fifty feet 
At the Khailik-Mabuse camping-ground, about 
8,180 ft (2,480 hl), old morainic drift rises some 
1,800 ft (400 m.) above the level of the valley. 
But the greatest accumulations are found in the 
neighbourhood of the Tograk post, about 7,700 
ft (2,850 m.), where exceptionally huge masses 
of drift have been deposited by the Tograk- 
Yailak, which joins on the right bank. These 
were heaped up on those of the chief glacier, 
whereby the detritus was raised to the enormous 
height of from 1,600 to 2,000 ft (500—600 m.) 
against the opposite mountain walL Here the 
valley is blocked by a barrier of morainic debris 
some 650 ft (200 m.) high, through which the 
river cuts its way in a romantic gorge several 
miles long. While on the moraines, so £ar 
described, the boulders consist of marble and 
limestone, here scarcely any but gneiss blocks 
are seen, which aeolic excavation (corrugation) 
has fiEishioned into thousands of frmtastic forms. 
Below Tograk the lateral Jin-Jilga valley joins on 
the left side, and from the confluence the gigantic 
ground-moraine of the old glacier projects in ex- 
cellently preserved form fiur into the main valley. 
The immense masses of shifted debris, however, 
cannot be derived from this lateral glacier alone, 
since they extend as a rampart a distance of six 

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to eight miles downward from 180 to 160 ft 
above the level of the river, which has cut its 
bed deeply into them. The conformation of the 
momitain range here indicates rather that the 
gigantic glacier, which has deposited all this 
detritus, once overflowing the left, here greatly 
depressed, scarp of the valley, descended from 
more elevated parts of the Khalyk-Tau in the 
east. At the last post also (Koneshar, not 
Kunya-Shar, as it is called in the forty-verst 
map) the main valley, about 6,900 ft. (2,100 m.), 
was blocked by morainic drift, which on the left 
side envelops the mountain waUs some distance up. 
That the old glaciers also extended out into 
the plain is shown, not only by the morainic 
mounds, which lie at the foot of the range, where 
it bends towards the east, and which were crossed 
the next year by the expedition on the route along 
the Khalyk-Tau (on this see below), but also by 
the enormous deposits of shifted glacial drift, 
including boulders, which to a thickness of several 
hundred feet still extend for over twenty miles 
out into the plain, here partly forming closed 
plateaux, partly disposed by erosion in little ridges 
of manifold shape. I must here lay stress on the 
fact that these last-mentioned deposits differ in 
some essential features from those formations 
for which M. Bogdanovich has introduced the 
term "Kuren" {Trudi Tibetskoi Eoopedizii^ p. 88 
et seq.). These masses have been preserved in a 
region, where erosion, dispersion, and denudation 
have operated more vigorously than in most other 


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lands. Granite boulders I found strewn over 
the desert more than twenty-six miles distant 
from the foot of the mountains. 

The lateral valleys of the southern Musart 
valley, whose parched soil is traversed by a 
potent stream fix)m which it no longer derives 
any appreciable fertility, still contain a con- 
siderable store of glacier ice, where rise lofty 
and magnificently glaciated ranges, the most 
superb and richest in glaciers being in the 
Turpal-che valley, in the cirque-like Chiran-toka 
valley, in the Serakh-su valley, Tograk-Yailak, 
etc. Into these valleys the pinewoods also have 
retreated from the almost dried-up main valley, 
and where they appear, present the finest contrast 
to the desert character of the main valley. In 
this we see one of the most remarkable upland 
valleys, remodelled by tectonic movements, and 
the action of ice, water, and wind, a juxtaposition 
of steppe and desert amid grandiose Alpine sur- 
roundings. Many other physical features would 
have still to be dwelt upon to complete the 
picture. But this would exceed the limits of this 
preliminary report. 

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Our intention to continue our work a little longer 
in the highlands of the great lateral valleys of 
the southern Musart river could not be carried 
out, as the valley offered no supplies, either for our 
men or the pack-animals. Hence the expedition 
could only be regularly provisioned fipom a station, 
lying far beyond the district, but for the organisa- 
tion of such supplies there was no longer time 
at this advanced season of the year. The plan 
was therefore postponed to the spring of the 
next year, and we took the route, which leads out 
of the valley to the town of Ak-su, and then 
for a stretch of about twelve miles, intersects 
the ranges of the Topa-davan tertiary uplands 
between the Lyangar and Abad posts. 

As I am not aware of anything, having .yet been 
published on these uplands or altogether on the 
tertiary formations at the southern foot of this sec- 
tion of the Tian-Shan, I may here give some details 
on the subject. In the structure of the Topa- 
davan range the same red sandstones are ex- 
hibited, that we meet with in the tertiary of 
the Tekes plain and elsewhere, besides red, salt- 
bearing clays and marls, with gypsuni-bearing 

99 \ i •^:* :V: 

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marls in some places, and lastly conglomerates 
of light and dark limestones. The whole mamf 
has a general west-north-west trend, and in some 
places is distinguished by narrow intricate foldings. 
Although the mountains are in smnmer and 
autumn waterless, they have been carved into 
several ranges by the powerful erosion of running 
water, setting in with the melting of the snows 
and acting all the more vigorously on the 
mountain mass since it is built up of easily soluble 
materials, aided also by atmospheric influences, 
especially wind. The action of all these agencies 
is helped by the narrow foldings and the vertical 
disposition of the strata. By such forces these 
ranges have again been sculptured into a number 
of the most diversified crests, often affecting the 
most fantastic forms. 

In these clay and marly uplands we again find, 
crowded together in a narrow, readily overlooked 
space, the same varied features in valley and 
hollow, the same manifold conformation of 
mountain and surface as are presented by the 
high ranges in wide inaccessible areas, of which 
we can obtain no comprehensive view. Many 
of the processes that there took place in a large 
way, have here been repeated on a small scale. 
In a word, the mountain-shaping and mountain- 
destrojring forces have combined to produce a 
relief, which offers an instructive object-lesson 
on orographic structure, so far as regards the 
diversified character of the surface modelling. I 
later explored tji? tertiary highlands west, north. 

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and north-east of Kashgar, which are built up of 
similar materials, and also surveyed the Chul-Tau, 
a southern prolongation of the Topa-davan (on 
which subjects more will be found farther on) ; 
but however varied may be the articulation of 
the surface in some parts of those districts, it 
nowhere displayed such varied features as the 
Topa-davan. Its average altitude, rising gradually 
from east to west, is 5,250 ft. (1,600 m.). While 
the first foothills only reach a height of from 100 to 
180 ft. above the almost table-like level surface of 
accumulated rubble, those approaching the south- 
west border rise to over 650 ft. (200 m.) above 
it. Here we are often surprised at the sight 
of perpendicular mountain walls, about 500 ft 
(150 m.) high, which are formed of a single layer 
of clay, honey-combed like a sieve by the decom- 
position of easily soluble inclusions. 

At the Abad post, about 5,100 ft. (1,550 m.), near 
the south-western border, there occurs a tortion of 
the axis, combined with a change in the trend — ^the 
ridges of the Chadan-Tau, which run from south- 
west to north-east, here converging with those 
of the Topa-davan, which run west-north-west. 
With this change are connected serious dis- 
turbances in the lie of the strata. Salt occurs 
especially on the south-west border in troughs and 
cavities in the form of efflorescences, which acquire 
a thickness of up to twenty inches, and are ex- 
ploited by the Chinese. The mountains appear to 
terminate abruptly towards the desert, because the 
low ridges of the outer folds are completely buried 

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beneath a mass of detritus, several hundred feet 

The road from Abad through Jam to Ak-su 
may be passed over as well known. I also 
omit any remarks on the long stretch from Ak-su 
through Maral-bashi to Kashgar, although offering 
occasion for many interesting observations, since 
it has already been to some extent described by 
other travellers, as, for instance, most recently 
by Sven Hedin. 

On October 18th, 1902, the expedition took up 
its winter quarters in Kashgar, fi*om which place 
Herr Pfann and the preparator, Herr Russel, set 
out on the homeward journey. As the southern 
border-ranges of the Tian-Shan often remain free 
from snow even in winter, as was particularly 
the case in the winter of 1902-08, we ultilised 
this season, despite the intense cold, to make 
some excursions to that region, chiefly for the 
purpose of collecting palaeontological specimens. 
This object was also effected, thanks to the 
collecting zeal of Herr Keidel, and we returned 
to Kashgar loaded with rich spoils. 

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The first excursion led us to the Toyun valley, at 
first through the narrow gorges of the "Artysh 
strata" — made known by the publications of 
Stoliczka and Bogdanovich, — ^which attain so great 
a development at the southern foot of the Tian- 
Shan. Amid these profoundly disturbed strata lies 
a group of large villages which bear the collective 
name of Artysh. 

In August 1902, not long before our arrival, 
earthquakes had almost utterly ruined both this 
and the other group, collectively known as Altjm- 
Artysh, which lies farther east on the southern 
border of the tertiary range, and was likewise 
visited by us. These places, now lying in ruins, 
presented a sad spectacle. For a wide space the 
ground was seen torn by rents and fissures, and 
in some places little mud volcanoes were noticed. 
In connection with these events the study of the 
" Artysh strata," as they are called, was of special 
interest to us. Later conglomerates, discordantly 
overlying these marly-clay and sandstone strata 
likewise exhibit indications of considerable dis- 
location. Even in very recent conglomerates, 


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dislocations were observed by us in several 
districts, especially in the Kurumduk valley, lying 
to the east of Altyn-Artysh. There can be no 
doubt that the seismic movements appearing in the 
upfolding of the Artysh strata, which are referred by 
Bogdanovich to the pliocene epoch, were continued 
in later formations, and persist to the present day 
(more on this in the detailed report). In the 
district, already mentioned, such movements led 
to the almost complete destruction of fix>m ten 
to twelve populous villages which, standing on 
well-watered loess terraces, occupy the richest 
and most productive tracts in the neighbourhood 
of Kashgar. The epicentrum of the seismic 
forces nearly coincides with Artysh-bazar, and 
the destructive effects of the earthquake waves, 
radiating from this point, made themselves felt 
even in the city of Kashgar and its environs. We 
were able to follow these movements, somewhat 
weakened but still very destructive, over a wide 
area, up the Toyim valley, in the Maydan-Gess 
valley, farther east in the Kurumduk valley, and 
later even still farther east. 

During our stay in Kashgar, more or less 
violent and destructive underground shocks were 
of such daily occurrence that one grew accustomed 
to them. 

In the Toyim valley Devonian fossils were 
found, partly in the places already visited by 
Stoliczka and Bogdanovich, north of the Chou 
Terek grazing ground (not village), partly in other 
districts. On the whole, however, the finds were 

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not great, although we pushed northwards far be- 
yond Yakub Beg's old fortified post of Chakmak. 
On the other hand, we ascertained the presence of 
erupted basaltic rocks in the zone of the most 
violent dislocations, in the schists and also in the 
sandstones, which are embedded in them, and 
are, by Bogdanovich, referred to the tertiary 
epoch, all at a considerable distance to the south 
of the localities, where they had been found by 
Bogdanovich (Suyok valley) and by Stoliczka 
(Chakmak) ; for further details see below. 

During the following excursion our collecting 
work was more fruitful. The route led by 
Altyn-Artysh northwards, up the vast tertiary 
basin of Argu, which was formerly flooded by a 
lake and still shows well-preserved terraces. It 
was approached through a narrow portal cut into 
a rampart of conglomerate 650 ft. (200 m.) high, 
and was quitted by a similar outlet, leading into 
the Tangitar ravine, by which are reached the 
basin-shaped expanses of the former large lakes 
Tegermen and Arkogak, which follow from west 
to east, one a stage higher than the other. 
Stoliczka found some fossils north of Yakub 
Beg's barrier fort of Tangitar, consequently north 
of the gorge through which the river forces its 
way. The places where we made our great finds 
lie, some a little to the west of the old fort, 
some south of it. The fauna is probably partly 
Devonian, partly carboniferous. 

Most surprising is the thickness of the con- 
glomerates immediately before and beyond the 

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place, where the Tangitar river breaks through 
the carboniferous limestones in a romantic gorge 
fix>m fifty to sixty-five feet wide, which winds for 
some two and a half miles between almost vertical 
walls, and escapes to the rocky Tangitar cirque. 
Although partly worn away, the conglomerates, in 
which are often embedded huge boulders, here rise 
in places up to 1,150 ft. (850 m.) above the level 
of the valley on the limestone walls, and project, 
as mighty buttresses £eu* into the plain. Beyond 
the gorge, ancient valley terraces {Ldngsstufen) are 
seen in these conglomerates, which are over-lain 
by loess to a considerable thickness. 

In the vast Tegermen basin, where no water 
now flows, except a narrow rivulet, deposits of 
shingle are of such enormous thickness that they 
partly hide the foot-ranges of the mountains, to 
such an extent that only a few of their cones and 
domes rise like islands above the overlying drift. 
In the left scarp of the basin Herr Keidel 
found upper carboniferous brachiopods, and in 
a narrow gorge Devonian corals. The bed of 
the extensive Arkogak basin, formed by level 
accumulations of rubble, is reached by a breach 
in the low range and over a broad sill of the 
soil. We followed the second basin a long way 
in a north-easterly direction. By a lateral valley, 
branching o£F to the east and draining indirectly 
to the Kurumduk river, access is gained to the 
extensive Bash-Sugun pastures of the Kirghiz. 
A bed of coarse, white limestone, containing a 
mass of excellently preserved fossils, was found 

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in the limestones of the ramparts, enclosing the 
Sugun valley, which are of very diversified 
character and exhibit complex stratified con- 
ditions. Here we were able to obtain a rich upper- 
carboniferous fauna of brachiopods, representing 
about fifty species in several hundred specimens. 
Bash-Sugun was already known from the fossils 
found by Stoliczka (E. Suess, Contributions to 
the Stratigraphy of Central Asia). But whether 
the locality, exploited by us, is identical with 
Stoliczka's seems doubtfiil when we consider 
that this explorer found only a few, apparently 
lower-carboniferous fossils in this place, whereas 
such an accumulation of organic remains as occurs 
at our " storehouse " could scarcely have escaped 
the trained eye of the distinguished naturalist. 

On the further journey to the south-east through 
the Sugun valley, which here contracts and forms 
a series of small, cauldron-shaped expanses con- 
nected only by narrow passages, we noticed ex- 
tensive intrusions of basaltic rocks in the form of 
domes, but also in dykes. Shattering breccias and 
conglomerates also occur, while the surrounding 
limestones have been greatly metamorphosed. 
The outbreak of basaltic rocks, ascertained by us 
as occurring in this region, as well as in various 
localities on the extreme southern border of 
the Tian-Shan, show that their intrusion is not 
confined to the line of fault, assumed by Bogda- 
novich to exist on the northern slope of the 
Kok-tan range {TrudU^ etc. p. 72). Such basalts 
were found by us not only at the already- 

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mentioned places in the Toyun valley (see p. 105), 
but also in the fiuihest off-shoots of the mountains 
at Tagh-Tumshuk» not fiur from Maral-bashL 

Throuj^ a breach, a hundred feet wide, the 
Sugun river continues its easterly course and 
debouches to a spacious valley, about two miles 
broad, which in its turn again trending to the south- 
east, falls into the Kurumduk river. It should be 
noticed that the delineation of this region on all 
the maps known to me, especially the hydrographic 
system between the plateau of Tegermen and the 
Sugun district, and the continuation of this river 
system through the Kurumduk and right out into 
the Kaldy-Yailak plain, does not even remotely 
correspond with the actual facts. From Ayak- 
Sugun, which lies at the confluence of the already- 
mentioned lateral valley with the Kurumduk, we 
made our way to Sugun-KarauL The route 
from the Kurumduk valley (which was itself 
traversed only for a short distance) to the plateau 
at the southern foot of the mountains, leads for 
over sixteen miles through narrow winding defiles 
across that section of the tertiary highlands, con- 
sisting of soft clays and marls, which have been 
subjected to the most profound shiftings of leveL 
Owing to this fact it has been shattered, and, for 
the most part, buried beneath its own debris to 
an extent that has elsewhere been rarely observed. 
Before the marls lies a thick zone of very fine, hard 
conglomerates, which extend for two miles into 
the desolate, high Kaldy-Yailak plain. 

I was now obliged, during the prevalence of the 

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severest winter weather, to undertake the long and 
difficult journey to Tashkent. Here I had to 
procure the instruments and photographic materials, 
long before ordered in Europe, to complete our 
equipment, and also to direct a second Alpine 
guide by telegraph from his home to Kashgar, 
where there is no telegraphic communication with 
Europe or even Turkestan and only a very defec- 
tive and tedious postal service. I took the route 
over the Terek-davan (Irkishtam — 28** C, Kok-su 
— 28° C). As this route has already been several 
times described, and most recently by Futterer 
{Through Asia), I may here pass over the observa- 
tions that I made on my journey, though they 
present many points of interest. 

During my absence Herr Keidel occupied him- 
self with the investigation of the loess deposits 
in the Kashgar-daria valley, and also made an 
excursion to the southern border of the Kashgar 
basin. The way led through Boruk-tai to Tash- 
malik; a rich fossil fauna was discovered south- 
west of this place. From Tash-malik Herr Keidel 
went on to the Gess valley, which he followed 
up to Ak-chiu, where he made a collection of 
fossil plants of the Angara series in the coal-beds, 
worked in a primitive fashion by the Kirghiz. 
The return journey was made through Eski and 
Yangi-Hissar. A second excursion to Bash- 
Sugun, undertaken towards the end of February, 
had for its object the completion of the geological 
collection by a study of other levels in the local 
limestones. In the finds here made, various stages 

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of the carboniferous age are represented. Some 
specimens of the species of the Bash-Sugun famia 
fomid their way to Calcutta, where they were 
recognised in the Geological Survey Office of 
India as corresponding with the Productus Lime- 
stones of the Punjab Salt-range. 

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At the begiiming of March I was back in Kashgar 
from Tashkent, where, through the kindness of 
His Excellency the Governor-General, two valiant 
young Kossacks were placed at my disposal as es- 
corts. At last, after much trouble, diverse bad 
incidents and unpleasant delays, the new Alpine 
guide, Sigmimd Stockmayer of Neukirchen in 
Pinzgau (Salzburg), arrived with a portion of the 
instruments and materials that had been ordered. 
After completing all the other troublesome pre- 
parations, the hitherto very cold weather having 
also become a little milder, a start was at last 
made on April 14th, 1908, for a fresh expedition 
to the highlands. Beside myself and Herr Keidel, 
the party now consisted of the two guides, Kostner 
and Stockmayer, the preparator Herr Maurer, the 
two Kossacks BesporodofP and Simin, with the 
corresponding accompaniment of Sart attendants 
and horse-keepers. Later we were joined by 
Chemoff, another Kossack, who had been one of 
Sven Hedin's assistants. All the military posts 
along our route had previously received due in- 
formation from the Chinese authorities in a way 


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that deserved my thanks. They also gave me 
written instructions and a policeman (''Beg") for 
a part of the way. Through the kindness of His 
Excellency N. F. Petrovsky, Imperial Russian 
Consul-G^eral at Kashgar, to whom I am greatly 
indebted for much help, the Russian ''Aksakals" 
in Uch-Turfim and Ak-su received notice of my 
approaching arrival Though my residence in 
Kashgar had not been too pleasant, I still parted 
reluctantly from persons, whose kindly advances 
and disinterested support had stood me in good 
stead on many trying occasions. 

As the raw weather and the masses of snow, 
lying on the uplands, did not yet allow us to push 
into the high valleys, I decided to journey at 
first for several weeks as closely as possible along 
the southern escarpments, in order to study their 
geological structure, as on this particular section 
of the Tian-Shan next to nothing was known. 
The route once more necessarily lead through 
Altjm-Artysh and Tangitar to Bash-Sugun. Still, 
the repeated visit to this locality was not thrown 
away, since it lead to the discovery of carboniferous 
Permian deposits. 

My intention was to make my way over the 
Kara-bel passes into the Aiktyk valley, whose 
southern bank is formed by the ** Kok-kya 
range," as it is called by Severzoff, why I do 
not know. Thence the descent could be made 
into the narrow ravines of the Kok-shaar river, 
cut between the aforesaid range and the section 
of the southern border-range also named by 

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SeverzofF the " Bos-aidyr Chain." The project, 
however, was thwarted by the stupidity or the 
ill-will of the " Beg," appointed by the Chinese 
authorities to accompany me. I should here point 
out that the terms Kok-kya and Bos-aidyr, 
applied to mountain ranges, are unknown to the 
natives along the southern border. 

From Bash-Sugun the way led east and north- 
east in narrow gorges through light-coloured, coral- 
bearing limestones, then along the southern 
border of the great mountain range across the 
surface of the plateau, where the outer range 
rises only in isolated crags above enormous, heaped 
up masses of mountain drift, like cliffs out of the 
sea. At the Kirghiz settlement of Kara-jil these 
crags of the front range reach a height of only 
fifty to sixty feet, and consist of interstratified 
light and dark limestones, the latter of which 
yielded a rich upper carboniferous fauna. The 
place must not be confused with the Chinese 
military post of like name, which lies farther 
north in the Aiktyk vaUey. Of this district, 
which was subsequently traversed by the ex- 
pedition, the maps give an altogether inadequate 
representation, which will in many respects be 
corrected and completed by our route surveys. 

From Kara-jil we travelled in an east-north- 
east direction along the foot of a limestone ridge, 
1,600—2,000 ft. (500—600 m.) high, through the 
loess steppe, where the outer range, buried in 
the drift, may still be followed in island-like 
fragments for a long distance. Then we turned 


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a little south to the Kir^^nz settlement of Jsi- 
teve (tube?), on the shore of the saline lake 
Shor-kyL At this point the expedition touched 
Sven Hedin's route of the year 1895, but again 
immediately diverged in a north-easteriy direc- 
tion, and made its way into a valley, which 
intersects the mountain range at an acute an^e. 
This valley is of typical form, narrowing in its 
upper course to the shape of a ravine and 
becoming a perfectly developed transverse valley, 
sunk in hard strata of limestone, grauwacke and 
phyllite-like schists. We found this typical erosicm- 
vaUey (Apatalkan) and its secondary vallejrs water- 
less, and only at the valley head came on a feeble 
stream, issuing from the snow-fields lying there. 
The origin of such a valley, and of other erosicm- 
valleys, traversed by the expedition shortly before 
and afterwards in the journey to Uch-Turfim, 
cannot be explained satisfactorily by the periodical 
streams which flow through them only for a small 
part of the year, but much rather points to great 
climatic change. 

The route led between mountains, whose steep 
sides, in consequence of the slope of the strata 
towards the north, were turned towards the 
valley, up to the Apatalkan pass, nearly 10,000 ft. 
(8,000 m.) in altitude; then down through the 
snow-clad northern Apatalkan valley (U3ruk- 
Apatalkan), of trough-like profile, where, notwith- 
standing the advanced time of the year (April 
22nd), we re-entered in the region of winter and 
encountered violent snowstorms. The ramparts 

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of the valley consist of a regular folded mass, 
already much worn down, of phyllite-like schists 
and grey-blue grauwacke, both of very var5dng 
appearance. This horizon of great thickness can 
be followed a distance of twenty-five or thirty 
miles in the Kok-shaal valley. Kok-shaal is the 
name, given in general to the upper course of the 
Taushkan-daria by the population living on its 
bank. At the mouth of the Apatalkan valley, 
the Kok-shaal valley is already a mile or a mile 
and a half wide, and looking back one sees, only 
a little farther to the west, the river leaving the 
ravine, whence it issues through a door-shaped 
opening, and then rushing in a majestic curve 
into the distance. 

To my regret time did not suffice for in- 
specting the ravine, from which this river issues, 
especially as it had never before been visited 
by any expedition. It is significant that in the 
Kok-shaal valley, as in all the less recent Tian- 
Shan valleys, we at once met with unusually 
large masses of conglomerates, which constantly 
accompany the course of the river, irregularly 
overlying the old schists, and in their turn over- 
laid by more recent conglomerates, etc. 

At the locality of Abdul-kia, alias Alep-turga, 
about 8,200 fL (2,500 m.) in altitude (these, like 
most of the following names, are not to be found 
on any of the existing maps) — ^the Kok-shaal 
river should be crossed, but, owing to the strength 
of the current, the passage proved impracticable. 
We had to travel along the limestone range on 

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the right bank, against the bluff walls of which 
the river beat for a long stretch, and hence 
induced us to take our way through defiles of 
the surprisingly eroded limestone ridges. Thus, 
travelling for some time near the border of the 
mountain mass, we again reached the main 
valley, where the river, now divided into several 
branches, could be crossed. Already at Ak-kia 
the view up the river had opened out to the 
fine chain of snow-clad, rocky mountains belong- 
ing, at least in a purely orographical sense, to 
the so-called Bos-aidjrr chain {vide p. 118), for 
the separation of which from the continuous wall 
of the Kok-shaal-Tau, however, I can find no 
satisfactory boundary-line either firom a geo- 
logical or an orographical point of view. The 
route over the wide, slightly inclined steppe- 
terraces of the northern bank was now open to 
us. Passing the great Kirghiz settlement, Kara- 
bulak, with one of Yakub Beg's dilapidated forts, 
we crossed a plateau of consolidated pudding-stone 
{Deckenschotter)y rising gently towards the north- 
east, and approached the foot of the rugged 
precipitous mountain rampart at the Aul of 
Chagash-gumbes, about 8,000 ft (2,450 m.) in 
altitude. The secondary range of the Kok-shaal- 
Tau, which here attains a height of drca 11,500 ft, 
though it must, from a geotectonic point of view, 
be considered as separate from the higher ranges 
behind it, should, according to the maps, belong 
to Severzoff's "Bos-aidyr range." The native 
Kirghiz call it Markesh-tagh« Th^ drift mounds 

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at its base contain no crystalline material, this 
firont wall being composed of limestones, calcareous 
slates, and very dense, highly metamorphic, bright- 
coloured clay-slates and sandstones, which dip now 
to north-north-west, now in the reverse direction. 
Crystalline fragments (granite and syenite) which 
are brought down in the beds of several streams 
that break through the front range, appear to be 
derived from the higher ones behind ; but lower 
down the valley I found in more recent drift, 
which there covers the base of the hills to a great 
depth, crystalline material (large granite blocks) 
in places, where no passage leads back through 
the lower range. They were doubtless carried 
hither by ice from the inner recesses of the 
mountain range. These are not the only traces 
of former glacial action which we found in the 
Kok-shaal valley ; on the right as well as on 
the left bank such traces were proved to exist, 
though not very abundantly. The section of 
the Kok-shaal-Tau, to which the name of the 
Bos-aidyr chain is given consists of several 
nearly parallel chains, of which the hinder, more 
northerly, is much higher and possesses more 
variety of mountain shapes than the range in 
front. Its summits, clad with nev^, are very 
steep. Here there is displayed a characteristic 
of the configuration of the Tian-Shan, which I 
had already observed and afterwards often con- 
firmed — ^that of its parallel structure. Semenofi*, 
the most acute explorer who has ever visited any 
part of the Tian-Shan, long ago directed attention 

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to this law, which finds such abundant expression 
in the configuration of this giant range. The Kok- 
shaal-Tau shows, on the whole, a gradual ascent 
from west to east, as far as the neighbourhood of 
the Bedel pass, where a sinking takes place. 

At the Kirghiz settlement of Kysyl-gumbes, 
about 7,500 ft. (2,800 m.) above the sea, which 
owes its name to the red colour of the loess 
surface, a result of the decomposition of the 
bright red (" kysyl " = red) limestones, conglomer- 
ates, and sandstones which form the steep, finely 
peaked ramparts of the valley, and to the many 
Kirghiz burial chambers ("gumbes") which dis- 
tinguish the region. 

An excursion to the so-called Bos-aidyr chain 
was arranged, and, for a better insight into its 
formation, one of its lofty peaks was to be climbed. 
But, to my regret, this piuposed excursion came 
to nothing, owing to a phenomenon, which, 
regularly, during the long time the expedition 
was engaged on the south side of the range, 
made observations exceedingly difficult and partly 
impossible — namely, continuous and unusually 
dense fog. The fog was, in this early part of the 
year, almost denser — at all events it was much 
more continuous — ^than we find it in the Alps in 
November (a surprising phenomenon in this 
southern region, distinguished by the dryness of 
its climate) ; for weeks at a stretch there was 
no clear weather. The explanation lies in the 
intense heating of the loess soil during spring- 
time. This, at some hoiurs of the day, whirls 

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the fine dust aloft, and, even when the wind 
is calm (to say nothing of the strong winds 
which often prevail), drives it in commotion up 
to the higher strata of the air, where it remains 
floating. In spring, in consequence of the melting 
of the snow, the mountain slopes give off much 
moisture by evaporation, and these vapours are 
condensed on the fine floating dust-particles to 
mists which neither fall nor yield. In April and 
May we had often a cloudless sky, but seldom 
a clear atmosphere. Our photographic work had 
to be discontinued often for many days — a serious 
loss. Over much that was worth observing on 
our route, lay an impenetrable veil. 

In the limestones which are mainly concerned 
in the formation of this front range, we found 
beds containing corals, whose identification will 
perhaps help to determine the age of these strata, 
which, also on the right bank of the Kok-shaal, 
form ranges of imposing height. 

At the place called Ak-tala we crossed again 
to the right bank. Here, and even earlier, the 
mountain range along the bank, the Sogdan-Tau, 
showed remarkable development in the impressive 
perspective of a lofty rampart with a crest-line of 
about fourteen miles (twenty versts) length, almost 
without a gap, deeply covered with snow, and 
on the average about 4,000 ft. (1,200 m.) above 
the floor of the vaUey. Behind it a far higher 
range (again a parallel structure), with a some- 
what greater variety of form, and bearing small 
glaciers, became visible. 

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The existence of glaciers is indicated also by the 
name of a transverse valley, Uch-Musduk, which 
means " Five Glaciers." To this Sven Hedin has 
already directed attention. This great mountain 
range, occupying a wide area, is still altogether 
terra incognita. Our route along its border led 
us into a longitudinal valley of considerable 
breadth, where there are strata of laminated, green 
phyllitic schists, interchanging with strata of grey 
sandstone in a regular, rather sharply folded 
formation, whose partially eroded arches may be 
followed for a great distance. These strata, as 
was afterwards proved, at different points, overlie 
discordant limestones, which strike obliquely 
across from the left bank. 

Also, in this now waterless region there are 
wonderftdly perfect erosion-valleys. Near the 
Aul of Sum-tash, in the neighbourhood of which 
are the still unknown ruins of an ancient town, 
complicated foldings in the same rock-series are 
disclosed, and the limestones, seen below, crop 
up to the siuface at the Kok-belys pass, which 
we crossed, where they contain a bank bearing 
brachiopods, and lie discordant among argillaceous 
schists. The structure of the mountain chain 
onwards steadily engages the attention in con- 
sequence of the magnificent disclosures of its 
interesting stratification, but this subject cannot 
be discussed in this summary report. Herr 
Keidel will make good this and other deficiencies 
in his detailed geological description of the 
regions traversed. 

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UCH 121 

As we descended an affluent to the main valley 
we reached the Kirghiz settlement of Uch (on 
Hassenstein's map wrongly placed on the left 
bank) about 6,400 ft. (1,950 m.) in altitude, and 
subsequently we again struck Sven Hedin's route 
of 1895. Among the magnificent, gorge-cleft 
mountain ramparts at Uch, where, from a height 
I climbed, the three parallel chains of the Sogdan- 
Tau were visible, a collection could be made 
of the fine rich fauna of the upper carboni- 
ferous formation, here existing in two distinct 
horizons, lying in slight discordance. This rock 
sequence can be followed far to the east. Here 
for the fibpst time we discovered foraminiferous 
schists (bearing Schwagerinas)^ which from this 
point steadily accompanied our route along the 
southern slopes as far as the Khalyk-Tau. The 
extraordinarily wide area, on which these fora- 
minifera, which characterise the uppermost car- 
boniferous formation, are distributed, is a new 
fact in the stratification of Central Asia. 

In the continuation of our journey eastwards 
we constantly found magnificent disclosures of the 
same compactly folded system, running north-east 
and south-west, especially fine in the Aul of 
Shinne. Immediately thereafter, toward the Kara- 
turuk gorge (this on Hassenstein's map is marked 
to the east instead of to the west of the pass), the 
river dashes impetuously against a cape-like pro- 
jecting spur of the mountain range, and makes 
it necessary to cross the rocky pass of Shinne- 
davan, in the neighbourhood of which, owing to 

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the oUkpie cuttiiig through the folds, highly 
interestiiig geological disclosures can be seeiL 
Again there appears the rock-series of the horizon 
ci Udi, disccwdant under sdiists, and, fiulher <«, 
<^ stratified conglomerates overlaid with blad^ 
limestones and reddish day-sdiists, a series which 
accompanies our route orer the next pass and 
cmwards through a TaUey into the plain, where, 
in the neighbouriiood of the Aul of Sary-turuk, 
it is replaced by hard, dull-coloured, crystalline 
limestones, which now, in a series of banks of 
immense thickness, form the mountain wall over 
Ak-kia to the richly cultivated Aul of Sa&r-bai, 
about 6,000 ft (1,850 m.) above the level of the 
sea. The much higher, snow-clad mountain range, 
which accompanies the river on the left, remained, 
during this long journey through the Kok-shaal 
valley, which is often as much as two and a half 
miles (four versts) in breadth, in consequence of 
the thick fog {vide p. 118 seq.)j almost continually 
invisible. The river-bed is several times constricted 
to a breadth of 600 to 900 ft. (200—300 m.) by 
cape-like projections, where the ridges, set obliquely 
to the axis of the main valley, have been much 
eroded by the action of water and wind, but the 
average breadth of the valley is not diminished. 

At the Kirghiz settlements of Kara-bulung on 
the right bank and Bulung-tiuuk on the left bank 
the river makes a great bend, and bears henceforth 
the name of Taushkan-daria, or is even called 
simply Daria. There, from the wall on the right 
shore, which at the bend swings for to the south- 

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west, low ridges of fossil-bearing limestones run 
forward to the river. Beyond the Aul of Koshe- 
bashe, where the loess-plain on the right bank 
showed rich cultivation, the river presses suddenly 
against this bank and reduces it to a mere strip. 
Even this vanished at last, and then our route, 
since it was found impracticable to cross to the low 
left bank, led over a projecting cliff of marble- 
like limestone to the pass of Denge-davan. In 
the ascent I found the cliffs, up to approximate 
heights of sixty-five feet (twenty metres) worn by 
water — one sure sign of many I observed in the main 
valley, either that the river has deepened its bed, or 
that it formerly had a larger flow of water, or that 
both of these suppositions are true. On the eastern 
side of these cliffs the rock-walls are, owing to 
fieolian corrosion, pierced high up with thousands 
of little holes, a phenomenon which may be 
observed at many places in the Kok-shaal valley 
on the windward side of the cliffs, but nowhere else 
so finely as here. In the neighbourhood of the Aul 
of Konganishuk-YangyU, again, a low ridge juts 
forward from the chain bounding the main valley 
on the right to the river-bed, or, indeed, into it ; 
this is through erosion, partly by water and partly 
by wind, divided into separate small rocky islands, 
two of which rise in the middle of the bed of 
the river. This row of cliffs, which the Kirghiz 
call Mai-tewe (tube?), consists of coarse, dark- 
coloured limestone conglomerate, interstratified 
with sandstones ; the limestone fragments contain 
a rich fauna, belonging to the upper carboniferous 

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formation, of which we collected specimens. To 
judge from the flat depression of the strata and 
from the arrangement of the folds, this horizon 
might be followed fax to the east and south-east ; 
it was, in feet, again met with ferther to the east. 

At Bash-chakma, about 5,600 ft (1,700 m.) in 
altitude and at Tagh-tumshuk, the commanding 
mountain range on the right bank is developed on 
a great scale (here also three parallel chains could 
be observed), and by its height and arrangement 
it forms a remarkable shelter for the region, which 
now at length (at the end of April) showed the 
first green of spring and the charming hues of 
blossoming peach- and apricot-trees. There, on 
a sharply projecting mountain spur, could be 
observed complicated disturbances, several flexures, 
feults, and ruptures, which could be followed away 
to the east and north-east in a complex stratum 
of slabby limestones, quite void of fossils, loose 
sandstones, and red-brown quartzites. Farther on, 
at the Aul of Kum-bulung, however, only these 
sandstones appear ; they form great arches in 
thick layers, and the products of their decom- 
position have transformed the region far and 
wide into a desolate sand-desert, from which a 
bit of soil for cultivation can only with difficulty 
be wrung. The protruding dark-coloured lime- 
stone ridge of Ot-bashi-tagh sets the first limit 
to the driving of the sand, at a bend of the 
river. Under its shelter the diligence and skill 
of the population (frt)m here onwards exclusively 
Sartian) have turned the region into an incom- 

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parably luxuriant garden-land, which extends to 
the town of Uch-Turfan, about 5,000 ft. (1,500 m.) 
in altitude, and beyond it. These dark-coloured 
limestones accompany the route in crowded folds, 
frequently with remarkable bendings of the strata ; 
in them also there is an upper carboniferous fauna, 
of which Herr Keidel collected fine specimens. 
A projecting spur, formed of these limestones, bears 
on its summit the picturesque citadel, command- 
ing not only the town and its handsome walls, 
built on the Vauban system, but also the garden- 
like region far and wide. This cliff consists partly 
of great banks composed exclusively of ProdiLCtus 
and Spirifer, from f to 4jf in. (2 — 12 cm.) in 

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In accordance with information obtained, I had 
to put off my purpose of penetrating from Uch- 
Turfan at this time into the transverse valleys of 
the left momitain range, since in those valleys 
there was at the time snow, of course, but no fodder 
for the horses, and the helpful Kirghiz had not 
yet come up. I therefore resolved to go fEurther 
east into the Khalyk-Tau, which had never before 
been visited by any explorer, and whose transverse 
valleys, opening directly to the south, might be 
expected to offer more fevourable conditions. Our 
way would lie across Ak-jar, Shah-shambe, and 
Tjaggerak to the town of Ak-su. Along this 
route we could at length (in the first week of 
May) begin gathering the first spring flora of the 

At Ak-su we had to stay for several days to 
complete our number of attendants and of horses 
as well as to meet the Chinese authorities. We 
left the interesting town on May 7th by the old 
caravan road to Bai, and crossed, between Kara- 
Yulgun and Tugarakdan (according to the incorrect 
representation of the forty-verst map, it would 
lie between Jurga and Yakka-aryk), the tertiary 


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BAI 127 

mountain range of the Chul-Tau which trends 
west-north-west, the route lying in an oblique 
cutting through its fine system of arched folds. 
Bright-coloured banks of sandstone and clay marls, 
bearing gypsum, overlaid by slabs of conglomerate, 
compose the mountain range, whose structure is far 
less complicated and whose appearance therefore 
has less variety of form than the Topa-davan 
range in the north-west {vide p. 99 seq). The crest 
elevation of the central portion is of course higher 
than there, but in its eastern chains between Jurga 
and Yakka-aryk and farther east it is much 
weathered and already reduced to insignificant 
dune-shaped swellings; by its decomposition it 
has furnished the material for a considerable rise 
in the level of the plain eastwards. This plain 
reaches its highest point at Chakh-chi, about 
4,760 ft. (1,450 m.) in altitude, and from this spot 
it falls away towards the Musart-daria. 

The visit to the town of Bai was of doubtfril 
value. The information there obtained with 
great difficulty from the Chinese authorities con- 
cerning routes and conditions in the Khalyk-Tau 
turned out to be incorrect. It appears that 
nobody there is well acquainted with that almost 
inaccessible mountain region. The forty-verst 
map here leaves us completely in the lurch; 
between Bai and the moimtain range it presents 
nothing but a blank, and what of Khalyk-Tau 
is elsewhere shown proved wrong. As the 
topographical sketches, taken during the journey 
are not yet worked out, our course, in the absence 

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of a topographical basis, could only be made 
clear by very detailed explanation ; I must there- 
fore reserve a minute description of this portion 
of our journey and, in this provisional report, 
only state the most essential points. But it must 
be mentioned that the direction and course of the 
rivers, given in the forty-verst map do not agree 
with facts : The Kapsalyan river, the most impor- 
tant of the rivers of this range, on issuing fix)m its 
narrow, ravine-like valley, takes a direction towards 
the south-west and west along the southern slope 
of the range, and the river which issues from the 
valley, wrongly named Kasnak-su on the forty- 
verst map, but in fact bearing the name of Terek, 
does not flow into the Musart-daria but into 
the Kapsalyan, which for its part only reaches 
that stream in the neighbourhood of Chakh-chi. 
FinaUy, Bai is at a much greater distance from 
the foot of the mountain range, than it appears 
to be on the forty-verst map. 

Our route passed from Bai in a north-westerly 
direction over Terte and Uskim through the 
desert to the small kishlak of Masar-Yakub, 
which is still at a considerable distance from the 
edge of the mountain range. Here it turned out 
that our next destination, the Tilbichek side- 
valley, cannot be reached directly, since its lower 
course forms a ravine, inaccessible for beasts of 
burden. We had to bear westwards and traverse 
the desert-valley of Kali-agach, which is cut into 
recent crystalline conglomerate. We crossed a 
small pass and, going along a hollow, running 

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south-west, reached an elevated plain, and then 
went to the village of Jam-kuluk, about 5,500 ft. 
(1,600 m.) in altitude, situated on the plain at 
the foot of the first chain of older conglomerates, 
near the mouth of the Kapsalyan river. The route 
upwards in this valley had an easterly and north- 
easterly direction; the valley is sunk between 
^ragg^» high> f ^ conglomerate ramparts (of which 
more hereafter), and is divided into three small 
basins (old lake-bottoms), connected with one 
another by door-like openings, cut in the enclosing 
rock- walls. Thus we reached the region of tertiary, 
bright-coloured clay marls, which are steeply folded 
together with the hard, violet-red conglomerates, 
but, already very much destroyed, are for the 
most part now only found at the foot of the steep 
conglomerate walls, 650 to 1,000 ft. (200—800 m.) 
high. Over these marl terraces, at one side of 
which the river flows in a deep gorge, we travelled 
up the valley to the Taranchi settlement, called 
Musulyk, about 6,000 ft. (1,820 m.) in altitude, 
lying on a raised sill, deeply pierced by the river. 
Thence we went to the junction of the Terek with 
the Kapsalyan, and approached over a boulder- 
plain the spot, where the latter issues from between 
the steep waUs of the lofty limestone range. We 
then left the basin of the river, and crossed the 
broad water-shed between it and the Tilbichek 
river-basin through a defile about seven miles 
(ten versts) long, which, following the strike of 
much decomposed, variegated banks of marl, 
displays wonderfully varied and bright-coloured 


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strata, especially where the red conglomerate 
walls, ¥nth their boldly peaked crest-line, overtop 
these steep, jagged marls. Over a steep slope we 
descended into the wide plain of the Tilbichek 
valley, whose door-like entrance into the gorge of 
its lower course was at once visible behind us to 
the rig^t. In the middle portion of the Tilbichek 
valley, the soft marls are almost cleared away, 
and the oHiglomerates alone form, by their strike, 
the ramparts of the valley. Since they dip 
steeply towards the south-east, the orographic right 
wall is sloped steeply enough, but the left wall 
presents towards the valley perfectly perpendicular 
precipices, forming a wall twenty versts long, 
sheer by the plumb-line, red, crowned with odd 
peaks and pinnacles, a sight such as is seldom 
seen elsewhere. A small Taranchi settlement in 
the valley is called Sukhun, about 6,400 ft 
(1,950 m.) above the sea. Thence we penetrated 
deeper into the valley, first going north-eastwards, 
then north, where the stUl-preserved parallel 
folds of the steep, variegated marls, rising in 
serrated crests behind one another, together with 
the conglomerate walls, group themselves into 
the most peculiar shapes. In this geological 
horizon lie three basin-shaped widenings, which are 
connected with one another only by door-shaped 
openings, thirty to forty feet (ten to twelve 
metres) wide. Through the last opening access is 
gained to a region of light grey, fine, sandy con- 
glomerates, which pass into actual sandstone and 
enclose clay-coal schists {Lettenkohlenschiefer) 

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with impressions of plants, and higher up there 
are dark-hrown, poor clay-ironstones and grey, 
dense limestones. Far behind in the valley a 
Taranchi, living in a cave, is occupied in smelting 
iron. The main valley here branches and leads 
towards the north-west, over lofty terraces, clothed 
with Alpine meadows, to a pass ; the main branch, 
however, leads northwards as a narrow gorge, 
with almost perpendicular walls of dense lime- 
stone, between which flows a raging torrent. To 
Herr Keidel's attempts to penetrate deeper into 
the ravine, and so from the limestone belt to 
reach the crystalline, insuperable obstacles at once 
presented themselves. 

The second excursion into the mountain range 
was farther west, through a narrow, door-like and 
difficult breach in the red conglomerate walls to 
the Kepek-chai valley, where the region of the 
bright, grey, sandy conglomerate, sandstone, clay- 
coal schists, and clay-ironstones, already mentioned, 
is reached much sooner than in the Tilbichek 
valley, since this system of strata runs about 
north-east and south-west. In the background 
of the valley the most complicated forms of 
stratification, inclined folds, contortions, over- 
slidings {VherscJdebungen)^ etc., accompanied 
by chaotic destruction of the rock-series, can 
be observed at magnificent exposures. These 
disturbances, after more minute examination of 
the observed conditions, may probably prove 
to be associated with the already-mentioned 
disturbances in the southern Musart valley {vide 

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p. 98 seq.) since the crystaUine rocks strike across 
from that region and go somewhat deeper into the 
mountain range in contact with the sedimentary 
rocks. The red conglomerates and tertiary marls, 
being much more recent, were not involved in 
this movement. 

We ascended the Busai-tash pass, about 9,200 ft. 
(2,000 m.) in altitude, leading into the Tilbichek 
valley, and thence over extensive Alpine plateaus, 
about 800—1,000 ft (250 — 800 m.) higher, which 
spread out between the two valleys, named 
and the Kapsalyan valley. These plateaux pro- 
vide a fine view of the snowy chain of the Central 
Khalyk-Tau. The highest peaks lie to the north 
and west ; towards the south and east there is 
a gradual falling away. Turning back towards 
Musulyk, Herr Keidel attempted to penetrate into 
the Kapsalyan valley, but was baffled, the narrow 
gorge being completely filled with water. Only 
in winter, if the river is low or is frozen, the 
Taranchi penetrate into the valley and carry away 
fir-wood. Herr Keidel, in order to obtain an 
insight into the structure of the range, now 
resolved on the ascent of a high peak, about 
12,000 ft. (8,600 m.) in altitude, standing between 
the Terek and the Kapsalyan valleys, while I 
penetrated into the Terek valley, which likewise 
has the character of a much-winding ravine, but, 
nevertheless, proved passable. From a bivouac 
about 8,000 ft. (2,450 m.) in altitude, midway up 
the gorge, I was fortunate enough to reach its 
head, about 9,700 ft. (2,950 m.), where it divided 

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into two clefts, running up to the main water-parting 
ridge. I could thus traverse the whole series of 
the sedimentary rocks lying on the outer border, 
the crystalline belt, forming the middle course of 
the valley, and the limestones and old argillaceous 
schists forming the valley-head. Thus I was able 
to collect a complete sequence of the rocks. Just 
as in all other transverse valleys of the Central 
Tian-Shan, so also in the Khalyk-Tau, it is not 
the crystalline rocks, but the limestones and argil- 
laceous schists, which form the highest and most 
central portion of the range. Here these lime- 
stones and schists on the whole strike east and 
west, with slight deflections towards the south and 
north. These conditions, however, according to 
observations already made on the Musart pass, 
could not be expected otherwise. In the crystalline 
rock of the Terek valley, remarkable disturbances, 
inclined folds, violent compressions and overslidings, 
etc., were noted. Even far up the valley, but 
especially at the entrance into the Terek gorge, at 
the little settlement of Bom-khotan, there exist 
Schwagerina-heaimg limestones, which interchange 
with plant-bearing schists ; a little farther down 
the valley, after red sandstone there follows a belt 
of porphyry between the former and the frequently 
mentioned grey sandstones and conglomerates. 

It surprised me to find in this southern valley, 
opening to the south, the features of a narrow 
transverse valley of the northern limestone Alps : 
terraces with Alpine meadows, and on steep, 
rocky slopes forests of pine, which extend into the 

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recesess of the ravine and, on the valley-terraces 
( Thalsttifen)f form dense permanent forests ; a main 
stream, well supplied with water by many brooks, 
flowing from genuine Alpine side-valleys ; splendid 
snow-clad, rocky peaks. At the head of thef valley, 
where, as before mentioned, it divides into two 
narrow clefts, no glaciers can be formed, but there 
are small glaciers at the heads of the side- valleys, 
which widen out into the form of cirques. At 
the mouths of some of these valleys, though much 
has been washed away by floods of the stream, 
there are still considerable quantities of moraine 
debris, piled as evidence of former extensive glacia- 
tion. The whole length of the Terek valley 
amoimts to about thirty-five miles (fifty versts) ; 
at a short distance fit>m its head it divides into 
two branches: the one, running north-westwards, 
is called Ya-konash; the other, running mainly 
northwards, is called Jan-kasnak. From this latter 
name the appellation of Kasnak-su, which is given 
in the forty-verst map to the whole valley, is 
perhaps derived. I repeat that the inhabitants 
of the region denote the whole valley simply by 
the name Terek. Our return-route from the 
Khalyk-Tau lay close to the skirt of the moimtain 
range : first upwards, in the lower course of the 
Terek valley ; then across the lofty terrace of Yar- 
jilga, which apparently closes the valley, down to 
the wide plain of Karabag, which extends be- 
tween the longitudinal course of the Musart-daria 
and the foot of the range. The transverse valleys 
at this part of the Khalyk-Tau are not inserted, 

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much less named, in any map. In the order from 
east to west their names are : Yagus-tal, Kysyl-tal, 
Tutuk-tery, Cholok-su, Alagyr, Tjrukur-myt. I 
found all of them, notwithstanding their southerly 
exposure, very snowy, and in some there were 
considerable glaciers. They are terminated by a 
mountain ridge, running north-west and south-east, 
which crosses obliquely from the Musart valley, 
and for this reason the most easterly are short, 
while, in general, their length increases the farther 
they lie to the west. The most important of 
them is the Tutuk-tery valley, from which a great 
mountain-river flows. Most of these valleys 
contain pine forests, in which the inhabitants of the 
widely scattered kishlaks of the high plain bum 

Our route lay across the kishlaks: Kish-talga, 
Karabag, Kok-kya, Little Karabag, Kyssalik, and 
Chapta-khanne — continually along the edge of 
the mountain range, which falls away towards the 
high plain in walls about 4,000 ft. (1,200 m.) high. 
Along the foot, however, there is a belt of tertiary 
deposits, more or less destroyed and carried away. 
After crossing the Musart-daria, which here, at 
Chapta-khanne, presses quite up to the mountain 
wall, the road leads without intermission over old 
moraine-soil, over-grown with verdure, across a 
number of moraine-ridges, rimning north and 
south, cut by little cross- valleys ; on these ridges 
lie massive erratic blocks {vide p. 97). From this 
enormous accumulation of moraine debris the 
route descended steeply to the first Chinese picket. 

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Koneshar, at the entrance of the southern Musart 
valley, where we made our appearance on May 
28rd. On the assurance that, in accordance with 
the orders of the Chinese authorities at Ak-su, 
which had been forwarded to the Sartian " Begs," 
I should find fodder for the horses and provisions 
for the company ready at all stations, I resolved 
to pay another visit to the southern Musart valley. 
My principal aim was to penetrate from the last 
picket, Tamga-tash, to the unexplored Earakol 
valley, which extends thence to the north-east, 
and become acquainted with the very important 
glacier of this valley, probably one of the largest 
in the Tian-Shan, and also to explore its sur- 
roundings, which consist of completely ice-covered 
moimtain chains of gigantic height, whose con- 
nection with the great main ranges still remains 
obscure. The extensive glacier background of the 
Turpal-che valley was also to be investigated. To 
my deep regret these plans could not be carried 
out, since the " Begs," notwithstanding the orders 
sent them, left me in the lurch. 

I first made, from Tamga-tash, a tour of in- 
spection to the great Earakol glacier, whereby it 
was established that this glacier, like the Inylchek 
glacier, is overspread with a great coating of 
moraine d^ris, the passage of which, to a length of 
only for two and a half miles (four versts), took 
much time and proved very troublesome. So jGeut as 
could be seen from an elevated crest on the left bank 
of the valley, this d^ris mound extends still farther 
over a stretch of about seven miles (ten versts) up 

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the glacier before free ice can be reached. This 
has certainly three times the length of the moraine- 
covered part At the end of the glacier tongue 
there is a small moraine-lake. The traversing 
of the glacier and the investigation of its environs 
would have required at least a week. When I 
had returned from this trip to the picket, it turned 
out that only an insignificant quantity of fodder 
had been brought, and there was no more in 
prospect. I had therefore to hasten my retreat 
from the inhospitable valley, and, to my regret, to 
give up the investigation of this region, the most 
unexplored of the Central Tian-Shan. Though 
this trip had cost me a week's time, it had not 
been taken in vain, inasmuch as the geological, 
glacial-geological, and orographical conditions of 
the Musart valley, already briefly described, had 
this time been more ftiUy investigated, than was 
possible in the flying visit of the year before. 
Unusually violent winds, sand-storms, and mist 
to some extent interfered with the work. 

By the route, already indicated, we returned to 
Ak-su, where now the Kossack ChemoflF, one of 
Sven Hedin's attendants, joined the expedition, 
and at last, after mcredible difficulties, the long- 
expected supplies and outfit, absolutely indispens- 
able for the continuance of our work on the high 
"Tnountain range, were completed. 

Uch-Tiufan is more frivourably situated as a 
point of departure for the investigation of the 
southern transverse valleys, since it is nearer the 
moimtain range, and we therefore returned to that 

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place. On the way a rich collection was made of 
the steppe and desert flora, now in the freshest fiiU 
bloom. Being properly supported by the Chinese 
" Ambal '' at Uch-Tmfan, a well-informed and agree- 
able man, as well as by the Sartian " Aksakal " of 
the Russian Consulate in Eashgar, I could satis- 
factorily carry out my investigations m the 
hitherto quite unexplored side-valleys of the south 
Central Tian-Shan. 

The atmosphere had in the meantime become 
transparent, and from Uch-Turfan we had daily a 
clear view of the southern mountain range. The 
great abundance of snow, and especially the rich 
glaciation of these southern chains, far exceeded 
my conceptions. The background of the Kaiche 
vaJley, with the wonderfully bold mountain peak 
marked by Kaulbars with the name of Petroff 
peak (not Peter peak), the magnificent Bos-tagh 
group, and, more than all, the mighty, completely 
glaciated Sabavchy chain, formed a series of 
surprises, considering the exposure of the slopes 
facing to the south, or partly to the west. 

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We left Uch-Turfanon June 11th, crossed without 
difficulty the Taushkan-daria, which, however, had 
become much swollen, and, gradually ascending 
the deeply intersected debris-coating of the desert, 
approached the foot of the mountain range. 

What we had already learned in our journey 
along the southern base of the Tian-Shan was 
here for the first time shown in the most con- 
vincing manner : of the so-called wall-like descent 
of the Tian-Shan towards the Tarim basin, of 
which so much has been written and which one 
would expect from the representations of maps, 
there was, except at a few places, nothing to 
be seen. The veil of haze surrounding the 
mountain range and the sharp light of the steppe 
produced this Mse impression on travellers, who 
passed along at a greater distance from the 
mountains. Nearly everywhere the Tian-Shan 
slopes away gradually towards the high plain 
at its southern base, in places (according to 
peculiarities of structure of its different parts 
and the corresponding course of erosion), sub- 


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siding gradually in ranges of transverse spurs, 
whose cape-like ends project far into the desert, 
or in other places in the step-like tailing off of 
longitudinal ranges. Besides, if it is considered 
how much of the outermost skirting range lies 
buried in the enormous rubbish-heaps of the 
high plain, frequently mentioned in this report, 
the hitherto prevailing conception of the wall- 
like descent of the range must be given up. 
In some places limestones appear as projections 
from the range; at others, conglomerates and 
tertiary clay marls form the outermost folds. 

Our first stopping place was the oasis of 
Eukurtuk, on the little stream called Ui-Bulak, 
distant about sixteen miles (twenty-five versts) 
from the outlet of the Eaiche valley, and about 
5,800 ft. (1,620 m.) in altitude. With the help 
of the Kirghiz of that place we penetrated into 
the Janart valley, to determine what connection 
it has with the allied Janart-breach through 
the moimtain range, and how jBnr the representa- 
tions, hitherto given on maps would be confirmed. 
On the high plain, on approaching the Janart 
river, I foimd indeed a river-bed about 180 ft;. 
(40 m.) deep, cut into the boulder deposits, 
and wide enough even for great floods, but not 
such as would indicate a powerful river. The 
quantity of water, flowing through it, was clearly 
only moderate. These circumstances alone sufficed 
to make me doubt the existence of the so-called 
Janart-breach. At the entrance into the mountain 
valley, 7,400 ft. (2,250 m.) in altitude, . where 

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the inevitable Schwagerina-heanag limestones — 
much compressed, however — again appeared, I was 
surprised to find a shallow, trough-shaped river 
section and a rather strong mountain stream, but 
no mighty river, such as must be formed by the 
united waters from the largest glaciers on the 
north side : the Sary-jass, Inylchek, Kayndy, etc. 
The flood-marks on the rock walls showed a height 
of ten to thirteen feet (three to foiu: metres) over 
the then level of the river. With the determina- 
tion of this poiQt my conviction was sealed, that 
not a drop of water flows through the Janart 
valley from the northern glaciers. However, I 
wished to exhaust the evidence of this, and re- 
solved to traverse to its head the valley, which 
has a length of about thirty miles (forty-five versts). 
We only rendered this undertaking feasible by 
moving our camp forward three times. 

In the first third of the valley, light-coloured, 
dense limestones form the boundaries, and the 
character of the southern steppe is displayed in 
the midst of a magnificent rocky circumvallation. 
In the second third, where the valley assumes a 
north- Alpine character, with good meadow-spaces 
and fine pine-woods, it is bounded by crystalline 
schists and granite rocks, followed by a second 
series, consisting of light-coloured limestones — 
interstratified with dark limestone schists, and a 
ponderous series of dark schists and light marbles 
succeeds this. A thin belt of green grauwacke- 
schists and phyUites appears to be the outcrop 
of the similar rock-series, observed in the upper 

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Kok-shaal valley, but there in a much thicker 
horizon {xnde p. 115 seg.). Then again follow lime- 
stone schists and marbles, reaching almost to the 
head of the valley. The last third shows a gorge- 
like form, but quite at the end is a fan-shaped 
widening, where the glaciers spread out In the 
hij^est region we found in the circumvallation 
of the pass a belt of granite which, at least in 
its southern slope, has but little breadth. The 
whole of the complex stratification is very 
steeply set ; the mean direction is E. 10° N. In 
interstratified limestones and limestone schists 
Herr Keidel found a carboniferous fauna, which 
seems to belong to two distinct horizons. The 
glacier in the main valley has no great extent ; 
in the side-valleys, especially in those on the 
west, the glaciers are somewhat more extended, 
but are rapidly retreating. So much the more 
surprising are the great accumulations of moraine 
d^ris, which even at the outlet of the valley, 
rise high up against the rocky walls. In the 
middle of the valley, where the steep form of the 
rock-walls did not admit of their preservation, 
the river has cut its bed deep, and we saw the 
remains of ancient ground-moraine under the 
alluvium. Behind, the valley is for a long stretch 
choked up with great moraine-masses, so that, to 
reach its head, one has continually to cross great 
walls of blocks and boulders; among these only 
a very little crystalline material is to be observed. 
At the ice-clad pass, 14,500 ft (4,400 m.) in 
altitude, we stood in the midst of a magnificent 

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PEAK (about 20,500 FT.) EAST OF JANART PASS. 

[To face p. 143. 

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environment of exceedingly rugged, ice-elad, rocky 
peaks, whose summits probably considerably exceed 
16,000 ft (5,000 m.) in altitude. On the north 
side our gaze fell on a wide, rock-bounded 
basin of nev^, which drains through a narrow 
winding gorge, no doubt, to the Ishtyk-su. An 
ice-clad chain with no variety of form hinders 
a more extended view on the north-west ; judging 
from our position, it can only be Ishigart-Tau. 
Lofty peaks near at hand obstructed the view 
of the Central Tian-Shan. To the west it might 
perhaps have been possible, through an opening 
m the ice-clad ramparts, to get a sight of the 
glacier of the Kaiche valley, which would have 
been of interest to me for the sake of settling 
the position of the commanding Petroff peak, 
which I had already seen from various points 
{vide p. 188) ; but time for this purpose failed. 

It was now established that the Janart valley 
does not cut through the range, and that by its 
channel no water can flow from the north to the 
south side. Still, the problem was only half 
solved ; the question as to what route these waters 
really take in their southern course was still open. 
The large secondary valley, the Munkys valley, 
which runs parallel with the Janart valley in its 
course through the moimtain range, and does not 
unite with it till it reaches the plain, might possibly 
be the channel by which the waters flow from 
the north side, and to convince myself whether 
this was so, I visited this valley. There I found 
a very wide and very deep river-bed, but with 

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little water; moreover, after having penetrated five 
miles (eight versts) into the valley, I could ahready 
determine with certainty that at the valley-head 
there could be no breach through. The Kirghiz 
were well acquainted with the &ct, that the waters 
flow firom the north side to the south side, and 
they consistently indicated the Kum-aryk as the 
channel by which they are conveyed to the 
Taushkan-daria. To convince myself of this was 
my next task. The most advisable route to the 
Kum-aryk would be that near the foot of the 
moimtain range; for by that route it could be 
observed whether any other important river 
flowed from the range. 

In all existing maps the transverse valleys, which 
cut the southern slope of the range between Bedel 
and Kiun-aryk, are inserted very incompletely — 
most fiilly as yet in the map given in KrasnofiTs 
Report (Sapiskiy I. R. G. G. tom. xix. 1888), but 
even in this a number are wanting. I may therefore 
set down their names here, in the order from 
west to east: Bedel, Kok-rum, Tanke-sai, Myn- 
dagyl-bulak, Kukurtuk, Aire, Kaiche, Taltan-su, 
Janart, Munkys, Sindan, Kosh-karata, Ui-bulak, 
Ulu-jailak, Ulak-teke, Kum-aryk. Of all these 
the Bedel, the Kok-rum, and the Janart carry 
the most water. The water of most of the others 
soaks into the rubbish which forms their bed, 
and only comes to the surface again at various 
places far to the south. From the Janart east- 
wards the Sindan, which moreover enters the 
Janart on the plain, is the only river, which has 

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continuously a considerable flow. Its bed is cut 
into unusually large banks of debris-deposits. The 
other river-beds carry only at times, but then in 
considerable quantities, the water from the melting 
snow to the Taushkan-daria. The route east- 
wards took the expedition through a wide extent 
of the tertiary moimtain range, which, north of 
Uch-Turfan, strikes south-west and north-east. 
It consists of conglomerates, lying in a wide, flat 
anticlinal arrangement. The abundance of water 
there is astonishing ; it cannot have been produced 
in this hot, snowless region, but evidently flows 
underground from the high mountain range, and 
only comes to the surface here. Some of the 
springs are salt. In the middle of the boulder- 
strewn desert lies, at the foot of this chain, the 
important oasis of Kuchi, a Taranchi settlement 
about 5,800 ft (1,600 m.) in altitude. It proved 
exceedingly difiicult to get trustworthy informa- 
tion there, concerning the route to the Kum-aryk. 
Mistrust and fear inspire these people. Only this 
much could be ascertained, that the continuation 
of our route directly eastwards was impracticable, 
since the Kum-aryk in that direction forms a 
single, impassable stream. It was necessary to 
go south-eastwards to the oasis of Oi-tattir, where 
the river is divided and can be crossed in the 
morning hours. We travelled through a deso- 
late desert, only adorned with the splendid 
Sabavchy chain, which, towering in the north-east, 
stretches, a dazzling white wall, far to the east. 
This route crosses a wide stretch of country, 


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sprinkled with ruined, abandoned farm-buildings. 
Not long ago, water could be conducted to this 
region from the Kum-aryk, and the country was 
flourishing. It seems that, meanwhile, the river 
has deepened its bed; the canals can no longer 
receive water, and the region has reverted to a 
desert Oi-tattir, about 4,900 ft. (1,480 m.) in 
altitude, is a very fertile oasis, which takes fipom 
the Kum-aryk more water than it uses for its 
crops, and the soil has become marshy. Two 
miles (three versts) eastwards from this oasis we 
crossed the stream. It spreads out its water to 
a distance of nearly three miles (four versts) in 
fourteen considerable and several small arms, with 
an aggregate breadth of 560 ft. (170 m.) and a 
maximum depth of 4 ft. (120 cm.) at the hour 
when the water is lowest. In the afternoon, 
towards evening, the quantity of water is more 
than double that of the morning flow, and the 
river is then impassable. 

Already Sven Hedin, who in 1895 crossed the 
river at Ak-su, where it is called the Ak-su-daria, 
had showed that its water-supply on June 8th was 
806 cm. per second (at what time of day?), or 
almost as large again, as that of the Taushkan- 
daria. The name Kum-aryk is not in the forty- 
verst map, but is that commonly and exclusively 
used by the inhabitants of its banks. It is, more- 
over, very suitable, its meaning being the canal 
(or channel) of the desert. On issuing from the 
gorge, in which it traverses the mountain range, 
on to the high plain, it flows in a cleft, about 

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500 — 650 ft. '(150 — 200 m,) deep, cut perpen- 
dicularly in the drift-bed, so that the region 
along its banks remains waterless, a perfect desert 
which, interrupted only by a few oases, stretches 
to Ak-su. Between the arms where we crossed it, 
are stretches of desert with moving sand and sand- 
dunes. In the tract over which we travelled after 
crossing to the east bank, a continuous, narrow 
belt of fertile oases extended for several versts 
along the sides of a great canal and at the foot of a 
high embankment-like stage, with which the high 
plateau, which rises steeply to the mountain 
range, falls away to the level of the river. This 
row of farms, ten to twelve miles (fifteen to 
eighteen versts) long, hidden under fruit-trees, 
is divided into four Auls : Chandar, Tokai, Togak, 
and Shaikhle ; in addition to the waters from the 
canal they receive also some water from two 
streams, issuing from the mountains farther east, 
the Chorlok and the Tamlok. The last-named 
oasis, Shaikhle, formed our base for the excursions 

As soon as I saw the Kum-aryk, a river 
with, especially in the afternoon, an imposing 
volume of water, it became clear to me that 
such a flow could owe but little to the snows of 
the south side, and that this must be the river 
which is fed by the waters from the great glaciers 
of the north side. 

We travelled from Shaikhle under the slope of 

•the high terrace first westwards to the bank of the 

river, there flowing in a single channel about 400 ft. 

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(120 m.) wide, but soon turned from the river 
northwards through a gorge, cut deep m the thick 
accumulated rubbish, and, gradually ascending, 
reached the barren boulder-floor of the plateau. 
There on the lofty bank, always 650 ft. or so above 
the river, now flowing from the north, we pushed 
on up the valley. After some time the plateau 
became divided in a complicated manner by deep 
ravines, cut perpendicularly, mostly over 800 ft. 
(100 m.) deep. We descended to the river-bed 
and held on our way at the side of the water 
till the stream, beating hard against the wall 
of the gorge, forced us back to the plateau. 
With continual ups and downs in crossing the 
ravines we toiled on our way, till at length, after 
we had followed the course of the valley for about 
seventeen miles (twenty-five versts) our further 
advance was stopped opposite the place, where the 
Kum-aryk breaks forth from its narrow gorge. 
What had been told me by the inhabitants of 
Shaikhle and heard by me with incredulity was 
thus confirmed; it is not possible to penetrate 
into the gorge. Between perpendicular walls the 
stream issues from its mountain fastness, and in 
Uiis gorge, as far as one can see, leaves not a fix)t- 
breadth of ground free from water, at least during 
the flood period, which lasts from the end of April 
to the beginning of October. In winter, as the 
inhabitants of Shaikhle say, one might perhaps 
penetrate into the gorge, but no one attempts it, 
since nothing is to be found there, except rocks 
and water, Only an expedition, expressly equipped 

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and oiganised for the purpose, and provided with 
fiiel and supplies for men and horses for a sufficient 
length of time, could, in the late autumn or in 
winter, succeed in traversing the tortuous gorge 
and in accurately laying down its course and the 
courses of its contributory streams as far as the 
mouth of the Uch-kul in the Sary-jass. The con- 
figuration of the whole of this hydrographic system, 
as given in the forty-verst map, is very fragmentary 
and defective. The greatest defect is, that between 
Sary-jass and Inylchek, indeed, every connection 
of the river system is wanting. The perpendicu- 
larly cut walls of the Kum-aryk banks, after the 
stream has issued forth, are in some places per- 
ceived to be accumulations of huge rounded blocks 
piled without cement one above another to the 
height of nearly 800 ft. (100 m.). To produce such 
results the volume of water, flowing through the 
gorge must have been formerly much greater, as 
was the case in the post-glacial period, and this 
has continued during the emptying of the lakes, 
concealed behind the gorge, as these were one by 
one cut open by erosion working backwards. 

The flow from the Sabavchy glacier, coming 
from the east, joins the Kum-aryk as a great 
turbulent mountain torrent, immediately after the 
latter river issues from its breach. In the back- 
ground of the Kum-aryk gorge on its north 
side, the commanding snowy peaks of the Bos- 
tagh chain are seen, and behind them a still higher 
but rockier chain. I conjectiu^ that the Koi-kaf 
valley cuts in between the two chains. As I was 

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able later to observe from other standpoints a 
broad side-valley branches off from the gorge of 
the Kimi-aryk, shortly beyond its mouth, to the 
north-west, whose head in the much-levelled 
main chain west of the Bos-tagh group, is a 
wide glacier-trough among low, tent-shaped, 
snow-clad summits. That this side-valley (the 
Kirghiz call it Kara-gat) is without difficulty 
accessible from the high plain by crossing this ridge 
in front of it, and consequently that the depression 
in the main crest can be reached, is to me not 
doubtful Probably the key to unriddle the whole 
mystery of the breach through the range, would 
be found to lie here. Though I now stood before 
the curtain, which veiled the yet unsolved part 
of the problem of the Kum-aryk breach, I had, 
owing to the great amount of work awaiting 
me on the northern side, no more time at my 
command for its solution. Of the longitudinal 
valley, where, on the east of the Bos-tagh group, 
according to the forty- verst map, the Ak-su or 
Kum-aryk must have its origin, I shall say some- 
thing later. After the photographic survey of 
the interesting locality was completed, we retraced 
oiu* steps to Shaikhle. 

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Although it was now high time to cross over 
to the northern side of the mountains in order to 
bring the remaining investigations to a conclusion, 
[ was wiwilling to leave this region without a 
glance into the still whoUy unknown glacier-tract 
of the Sabavchy chain. 

From the standpoint of Shaikhle, looking north, 
the mountain system is seen unrolling itself in 
a series of parallel longitudinal grades up to the 
plateau, all of which have to be crossed to get 
into the Sabavchy valley. Add the chain bounding 
the Sabavchy valley on the north, and these four 
chains wiU represent four parallel folds, bearing 
E. by 80** N. The nearest, a low range shaped 
into small domed summits, consists of variegated 
marls, resting conformably on highly decomposed, 
no longer recognisable dark slates — ^to all appear- 
ance identical with those constituting the two 
succeeding chains farther to the north. These are 
blue-green argillaceous sandy slates passing into 
red violet. The determination of their place must, 
however, be reserved tiU the specimens have been 
more closely examined. 

Of the same material is built up also the third 


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chain. Here, however, are infolded grey lime- 
stones and thin beds of sandy-argillaceous com- 
position resembling grauwacke. In the fourth 
chain these attain the dimensions of thick beds, 
alternating with layers of the blue-green slates. 
In these limestones is to be found here and 
there an accumulation of organic remains pointing 
to formation in a shallow sea. Herr Keidel had 
the good fortime to discover in these remains a 
well-preserved fauna of the uppermost carboni- 
ferous formation. 

Traversing the first three chains and the longi- 
tudinal valleys intercepting them, the third and 
most important of which is called Terek, our 
road led us to the Kara-bury pass, 9,600 ft. 
(8,200 m.) high. This cuts through the third chain, 
which again, is known by the herdsmen of the 
region as Mansur-tagh. Looking down fix)m 
the pass, one sees the Sabavchy valley stretched 
below, its lower course about a mile wide. On 
both sides there lie against the high, steep walls 
of the valley, green-mantled blunt ridges, round 
tops, and plateaux, composed of red and white sandy 
conglomerates and sandstones proper of tertiary 
age. These, covered everywhere with tufty grass, 
occupy also the floor of the valley, and there are 
divided by a labyrinth of perpendicularly eroded, 
dry ravines, 800 — 600 ft. and more deep. The 
anterior part of the valley is thereby rendered 
impassable. Only at one spot, by coming from 
the south-west, by way of a pass (Kysyl-kut) in 
these intersecting ridges, is it possible to cross this 

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labyrinth of the sandstone plateau and its eminences, 
and so enter the Sabavchy valley. The extra- 
ordinary ravine-formation witnesses to the volumes 
of water, once flowing through the valley — ^waters 
which had their origin in the enormous glaciers 
formerly developed in the valley. On many places 
these sandstones and conglomerates are overlaid 
with huge coverings of ancient moraine debris. 
On the slope of the chain on the left bank the 
tertiary deposits reach higher up than on the right 
bank, and are there buried under the ancient 
moraine d^ris to such extent that, only a few 
cliffs of the sandstones, are seen cropping through 
the verdure-clad masses of glacial and fluvio-glacial 
drift. The Sabavchy river runs close under its 
northern wall in an inaccessible gorge, scooped 
out perpendicularly in the sandstones. 

The valley divides into two branches, the more 
northern of which constitutes the principal valley. 
This runs far to the east into the heart of the 
Sabavchy chain, which is wholly shrouded in ice. 
The southern branch, broader but shorter than the 
northern, ramifies into several arms from a wide 
trough, filled entirely with snow and nev^ and 
surrounded by p3nramidal ice-peaks; its copious 
stream imites in the outer valley with the main 
Sabavchy river. The bottom of this lateral valley, 
hollowed out like that of the main valley^ in deep 
dry ravines, lies, on an average, 1,100 ft. higher 
than that of the principal valley and consists 
also of thick beds of glacier drift, overlaying 
the sandstones. One is surprised to find in this 

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dry southern region the surface of the old drift 
masses arrayed in beautiful thick Alpine meadows, 
wherecm the inhabitants of the hot plain graze 
their cattle in summer. Even extensive pine- 
woods are to be seen where the slopes have a 
northern exposure. We first rested a night among 
the Sartian shepherds, high up in the lateral 
valley, and then made our descent into the main 
valley to where, at the end of the ridge, dividing 
the two valleys and running out towards the 
bed of the stream, there stands a fort, built by 
Yakub Beg — ^for what purpose is difficult to under- 
stand — ^now falling into ruins. From this spot 
I undertook the exploration of the Sabavchy 
glacier, and for this venture was favoured with 
a cloudless day — a rare event in this mountain 
Cham. The thermal contrasts between this high 
snowy region and the glowing plain at its edge 
are excessive, and the consequence is pronounced 
condensation phenomena in the cold upland zone, 
or stormy outbursts, occurring almost daily. 

The way to the snout of the glacier leads 
through a zone of tall, almost impassable brush. 
This is continued along both banks of the glacier, 
over moraine ridges and the debris heaps of the 
mountain walls, fencing the glacier to a length 
of six and a half miles with a broad dark belt, 
which often sends long tongues far up the moun- 
tain sides. Through a gatelike contraction of the 
valley walls one reaches the glacier, the tongue 
of which ends at a height of about 9,000 ft 
(2,750 m.) There I was not able to make out 

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any signs of a recent retreat of the ice. Like the 
Inylchek glacier, the Sabavchy glacier is, over more 
than half its length, overlaid with a mountain- 
pile of moraine debris and blocks, presenting an 
micommon variety of forms. The pile is still 
more stupendous than that on the Inylchek glacier. 
Yet, owing to the exceptionally dry climate, the 
blocks, often of enormous size, are held together 
by no sort of cement. Only loose sand and dry 
detritus-gravel lie between them. As a contrast 
to this phenomenon one observes on the mountain- 
walls thick beds of fine alluvial clay, wherein are 
embedded layers of boulders. 

The ascent of the glacier, involving incessant 
climbing of ridges and crossing of valleys in the 
debris, costs no end of time and trouble. In several 
expansions of the valleys between the ridges there 
lie ice-lakes, some of considerable size. Judged 
by their depth, the mass of the glacier-ice must be 
of great thickness. Where it rounds off towards 
the mountain banks, the ice is very much crevassed, 
in part resolved into seracs. 

Owing to the amount of time consumed in the 
attempt, I did not get farther than some six and 
a half mUes up the ice valley, to a spot (10,800 ft.) 
where, from the north-east, the Sabavchy valley is 
joined by a large glacier valley, the frame of which 
is constituted of magnificent and exceedingly steep 
mountains. Between the mountain walls there 
descends, from a nev^ plateau, stretching east- 
north-east as far as the eye can travel, a great 
glacier, the long tongue of which, completely 

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free from dAm» ^ides in m beaotifiil conre out 
of the valley and joins the Sftbarcfay glacier, Re- 
senting a splendid ^ectade. The faad^groiiDd of 
the SabaTcfay valley consists of a doable range of 
ice-moantains» 19,000 ft. hi^ and upwards, show- 
ing hardly a spct, of faaie rodL The distance 
from the point I readied to the vall^s head, I 
estimated at over e^;fat miles. Considenng its 
situation in a valley that opens to the south- 
west and lies near the outskirts ci the hottest and 
driest region ci the Tian-Shan, it is astonishing 
that the Sabavchy glacier has still at this date, 
neverthdess, a total length of at least fomrteen 
miles (twenty-two versts). Its massive shidd of 
debris protects it from fiqoe&ction. The dimensions, 
fcxmerly attained by it are indicated by the old 
mnaine remains, w^ preserved in the middle readi 
of the valley, ^diich rise 1,300 ft. (400 m.) up 
the endosing walls. The matarial of the ^iviron- 
ing walls al the valley ccHisists in the main of the 
often-moitioned blue-greoi [^yUite-like slates, 
which are interstratified with argillaceous sandy 
layers and grey limestones. In c<msequence, how- 
ever, al their immediate neighbourhood to the 
granites, these grey limestones have, through con- 
tact, grown crystalline. The zone of the granites 
extends, as &r as I could follow it, more than nine 
miles (fourte^i versts) up the glader valley, and in- 
cludes granites of vastly varying composition, syenite 
and gneiss. A dense black metamorphic en^tive 
rock which, fiEulher back, I noted as one constituent 
in the granite zone, but of which I was able to 

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collect only in the moraine some fragments, appears 
to be of diabasic nature. The farther one pene- 
trates into the valley, the more does one observe in 
the moraine debris fragments of black limestones, 
slates, and white and reddish marbles. It may 
thence be concluded that, as in other parts of the 
Central Tian-Shan, so also here, this series of rock 
constitutes the highest parts of the moimtain chain 
at the head of the valley. The chain bordering 
the glacier on the north, presents a remarkable 
variety of forms and extremely steep peaks. Behind 
it appears another still higher chain. According to 
the forty- verst map the source of the Kum-aryk, 
or, as it is there called, Ak-su river, should lie 
between the two, a representation incorrect in any 
case. If there is a longitudinal valley enclosed 
between the two chains, as undoubtedly there is, 
then, according to reasons explained hitherto, it 
could be only a lateral valley of the Kum- 
aryk. Whether this longitudinal valley is 
identical with the Koi-kaf valley, visited by me 
later, I was unfortunately not able to ascertain 
{vide farther on). In any case, however, I re- 
marked distinctly, between the so-called Ak-su 
valley of the forty-verst map and the Sabavchy 
valley, yet another valley, running in the same 
direction. It appears to be but short. It is 
known to the people of Shaikhle, who distinguish 
it by the name of KasalaL 

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I POIGNANTLY regretted that the big programme 
of the year's work, still outstanding, did not allow 
me three or four days more to complete my survey 
of the Sabavchy glacier and make a closer inspec- 
tion of its lateral valleys. 

The return route from Kuchi was somewhat 
varied, leading us through the northern spurs of 
the tertiary mountain chain, spoken of on the way 
to Kum-aryk {vide p. 145). We crossed the skirt 
of the mountain cham through the valley of 
Darvasse-su, a highly expressive name, seeing the 
valley stream issues through a gate-like contraction 
in the marl walls into the broader part of the 
valley ("Darvasse" signifies door). The springs 
here, too, niunerous and strong, can derive their 
origin only from the ooze-water of the higher 
mountain ranges stretching northward. With- 
drawing from this valley, our route lay on the verge 
of this marl mountain chain; thence we crossed 
the shingle-covered, desert plateau in a south-west 
direction, and again reached the oasis of Kukurtuk. 
Thence our way to the entrance of the Kukurtuk 
valley once more led us some sixteen and a half 
miles (twenty-five versts) over similar desert ground. 


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At the first glance into the vaUey one is siurprised 
at its appearing to be shut in by a comparatively 
low and snow-free chain. In order, however, to 
the understanding of what is to follow, I must 
at once lay stress on the fact, that this apparent 
enclosure of the valley is not the real one — ^not the 
main ridge forming the watershed between south 
and north, but only a chain, running at a short 
interval in front of the main ridge and hiding it. 
In the neighbourhood — ^namely, at the Kaiche pass 
— ^there occurs a ramification in the main ridge. 
While the latter pursues its west-south-west course, 
the diverging chain takes first, in the shape of a 
blimt ridge almost free from perpetual snow, a 
south-south-west direction as far as to the axis of 
the Kukurtuk valley ; thence, however, it assumes, 
though of course with many turns, a direction 
averaging north-west, forms the head of the 
Kok-rum valley, and, near the Bedel pass, again 
joins the main ridge. With its transition into 
the north-west direction this chain rears up 
strikingly to far above the height of the main 
ridge, and forms a series of grand peaks with 
considerable glaciers. 

At the entrance of the Kukurtuk valley, after 
passing a zone of fine-grained conglomerates, 
we again came upon the inevitable Schxvagerina- 
bearing lime-stones. Stratified pudding-stone 
(Deckenschotter) lying in undisturbed position 
covers a prodigious area in the widened lower 
course of the valley. The river, which on enter- 
ing the valley runs still hidden under drift, springs 

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all at once to view in copious volume a mile higher 
up. In these conglomerate-like accumulations, 
whose appearance again and again distinctly points 
to their glacial origin, the river has carved two 
longitudinal terraces {Langsstiifen)^ one sixty to 
sixty-five feet above the other, and cuts its way 
in a regular, often winding cafton with alternating 

Our way led us for hours far up this caiion. 
The cafion character of this landscape is explained 
by the dry climate, here prevailing, and the extra- 
ordinarily disintegrated condition of the rock of 
the valley-walls, which accordingly absorb the 
whole precipitation, thus making lateral excava- 
tion impossible. The river, rapidly cutting its 
way deeper and deeper, has already begun the 
formation of a new terrace. 

None of the southern Tian-Shan valleys, hitherto 
visited, presents a spectacle of disintegration in 
the enclosing walls, similar to that exhibited in 
this one. The stratigraphic relations are thrown 
into such utter confusion, that it is difficult to 
form an adequate idea of the grotesque chaos. 
Direction and angle of the dip of the rock-series 
changes every ten steps. Certain layers you first 
see lying below, appear after a short interval 
perched high on top, without its being possible to 
determine which is the infolded and which the 
infolding rock. Light and dark grey limestones 
alternate with yellow-white, marble-like limestones 
and blue-green slates, here of more argillaceous, 
there of more sandy, character. In general, their 

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petrographic character varies with extreme fre- 
quency. They are, moreover, in an extraordinary 
degree crushed, shattered, and crumpled. Some- 
times the different series of rocks form horizons 
some miles broad, sometimes hardly more than 
thirty feet. In the dark limestones we collected 
a very rich upper carboniferous fauna, comprising 
three himdred specimens of fifty species. At the 
very entrance of the valley we were struck by 
the total absence of crystalline material among 
the drift and alluvium, and nowhere throughout 
the course of the valley could we find crystalline 
fragments. We thus received confirmation of the 
fact, which I had suspected ever since ascend- 
ing the Janart pass, in glancing into the there 
very narrow zone of granite {rnde p. 142) — ^namely, 
the complete effacement of the crystalline zone 
between Janart and KvJcurtuk ; farther to the 
west 9 at leasts beyond the Bedel pa^s^ it no longer 
crops up in the main watershed and on the south 
slope of the mountain chain. On the other hand, 
the crystalline formations farther north appear to 
be continued to the west in the mighty Borkoldai 
range (of which more later). 

On marching into the valley a short earthquake, 
accompanied with a rumbling noise, was experi- 
enced. In this region of severe dislocation that 
is a characteristic phenomenon. The valley has 
a total length of sixty versts. Accumulation of 
ancient moraine d^ris was observable at the 
mouths of several lateral valleys, now no longer 
holding glaciers. Remains of such debris could 


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be traced also in the principal valley up to a 
considerable height on the mountain walls. Even 
in this not easily accessible valley we found on 
the threshold of an upper stage of it a primitive 
barrier, erected across it by Yakub Beg in his 
insane Russophobia ; behind the barrier the water 
of the stream was formerly banked up into an 
artificial lake. 

In consequence of the information received in 
Uch-Turfan, it was originally my intention to 
make with the caravan for the north side of 
the mountain chain by way of the Kukurtuk 
valley and the pass, that crosses the main ridge 
at the head of the valley. It was not long, how- 
ever, before I became aware of the impossibility 
of such a feat. I therefore resolved at least on 
climbing the pass by myself, and there obtaininjg 
more accurate orientation respecting the structure 
of the mountain chains. Despite imfavourable 
weather, I was able, starting from our second 
encampment, at about 9,000 ft. (2,820 m.), to 
successfully carry out this resolution. In the 
upper course of the Kukurtuk valley, throughout 
a stretch of some miles, there occur contractions 
in the shape of narrow gorges. The high rock- 
walls, between which the stream leaves there not 
an inch of unoccupied margin, frequently approach 
to within fifty feet of each other, and notable 
hollowings of the rock may be remarked. Yet, 
higher up on the rock-walls, one may frequently 
perceive roches moutonn^ and striation due to 
the action of ice. This becomes intelligible when. 

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higher up the valley, one contemplates the colossal 
remains of old morainic drift, into which the bed 
of the river is there cut. Several of the affluent 
lateral valleys present considerable sections, and in 
spite of their present aridity, the streams, that they 
once held led to the hollowing out of basin-like 
cavities in the principal valley. Next, at a 
threshold-like rise in the valley, comes another 
contraction, which Yakub Beg turned to account 
in again damming up the water into a lake. Shortly 
thereafter the main valley becomes impassable. It 
runs steeply, as a winding gorge, carrying copious 
water, in a north-north-west direction. Farther 
advance toward the pass must therefore be made 
through a lateral valley, dry at that season, running 
to the west and then to the north. That again 
soon becomes impassable ; the traveller has no 
alternative but to push his way upwards along 
the very steep and high walls. In this wise he 
again attains the height of a ridge, and soon 
reaches a breach, cut into the branch chain formerly 
mentioned (p. 159), which diverges from the main 
ridge near the Kaiche pass. This branch chain 
splits in turn into two arms, divided from each 
other by deep, snowy, high-lying trough-shaped 
valleys, which send their waters through steep 
couloirs into the main valley. The traveller has 
therefore the task of making the steep descent 
and then steep ascent of 800 — 1,000 ft. twice. 
Next, passing through another gap in the last 
secondary chain, he reaches the shallow channel, 
occupied by a small glacier draining to the main 

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valley, through which he attams the pass proper. 
And on a passage like this, Yakub Beg's Russo- 
phobia deemed further fortification needful 1 

The waUs enclosing the upper valley present 
at first an alternation of rocks, similar to that at 
lower levels. Yet, immediately after the ramifica- 
tion of the lateral valley, through which the ascent 
is made, highly decomposed black slates {Tqfel- 
schiefer) occupy a very broad area, while <» the 
highest region, on the other hand, the often- 
mentioned blue-green slates, constantly changing 
in their constitution, predominate alone and form 
the summit of the pass (over 14,000 ft ; 4,400 m.), 
as also the blunt, nev^-covered heights environing 
it. Immediately before entering on this very thick 
horizon there lies intercalated, after the black 
slates, a zone of about 650 ft of dark oolitic lime- 
stones. The whole series trends E. by 20** N., and 
dips very steeply, now to the south, now to the 
north. Now here, far and wide, there was no 
crystalline rock observable, thus demonstrating the 
important fact, already mentioned, of the efface- 
ment of the crystalline zone. On the pass we 
became aware, that the north side is easier to 
ascend than the south side, the slopes being 
less steep, lying much less imder snow and com- 
pletely free from glacier ice — an abnormal pheno- 
menon. One sees, also, not more than 2,500 — 
8,000 ft below the summit of the pass, beautiful 
Alpine meadows. A chain, built of dark slates, 
running approximately parallel to the main ridge 
and trending westwards toward the Borkoldai chain, 

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concurs with the contracted wall, surrounding the 
pass itself, in obstructing the view of the higher 
mountains to the north. The view is only grand 
rearwards, to the south-south-west in the direction 
of the western part of the branch chain, above 
referred to (vide p. 142), running to the Kok-rum 
valley. This branch chain presents a series of very 
steep peaks, adorned with extensive glaciers. Its 
summits reach to considerably over 16,000 ft. 

Two striking facts, hard to reconcile with one 
another, were matter of thought to me in the 
Kukurtuk valley. With the exception of a few 
spots there is no grass growing in the whole of the 
principal valley; forest is completely wanting. 
The Janart valley, on the other hand, running near 
and parallel to it, is comparatively rich in both. 
In contrariety with these data, the Kukurtuk 
valley receives a comparatively copious supply 
of precipitation, thunder-clouds gathering over 
it continually. From the neighbouring valleys, 
contrariwise, such clouds are absent. From Uch- 
Turfan and onwards this fact could be noted. 

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The passage by way of the Kukurtuk pass being 
impossible, the only road, available for the caravan, 
was that by way of the Bedel pass. The 
month of Jmie was nearing its end, and there was 
no time to lose. Not wishing to follow the well- 
known caravan route running through the steppe 
to the Bedel valley, which would have added nothing 
to my knowledge, and in order to gain further 
insight into the structure of the mountain chain, 
we hurried, after clearing the Kukurtuk valley and 
taking a short passage across the waste plateau, 
in a western direction and entered a broad, dry 
valley called Chon-Jar, which cuts westwards and 
south-westwards into the spurs of the mountain 
chain. The limestones of the walls of the valley 
contain organic remains, pressed beyond identifica- 

On its contracting, the valley, which has hitherto 
presented only a scanty steppe vegetation, assumes 
an Alpine character, with slopes of fine, rich 
Alpine meadows. Yet nowhere in the channels 


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was running water to be seen. After mounting 
a grassy pass to the west, we descended into 
a wide, cauldron-shaped valley. Baiter- Yailak 
(9,500 ft.; 2,900 m.), the floor and slopes of which 
were clothed with luxuriant Alpine meadows. It 
is formed by the convergence of four steep, high 
valleys cutting through high limestone ridges of 
the environing walls. But, nevertheless, here too, 
with the exception of a distant spring, no running 
water was to be found. Obviously the steep-piled 
layers of the surrounding walls soak up the 
precipitation, which runs away at no great depth 
in the loose drift soil of the decUvity and the 
floor of the valley. In no other way could one 
explain the dense growth of grass in these Alpine 
meadows. After spending a night with the Kirghiz 
of the valley, we followed across Alpine meadows 
the broad, dry bed of the main stream, keeping 
a southerly course. CUmbing a grassy ridge about 
500 ft. high, we descended into a hollow valley 
of altogether similar structure with that of Balter- 
Yailak. The bed of the stream, then dry, deepened 
into a ravine, and cleft a gate-like gap through 
the separating wall, thus communicating with the 
Baiter- Yailak valley. The beds of the main 
streams of these two cauldron-like valleys unite to 
form a deep channel, which, through a break in 
the east wall of the Baiter- Yailak hollow, strikes 
steeply down in a south-east direction. CUmbing 
the southern wall of the second cauldron, we reached 
a pass, Kok-belys (10,500 ft.; 8,250 m.). Its 
summit affords a commanding view of the valley- 

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ramifications, which cleave the mass of the 
mountain chain between the great transverse 
valleys of Kukurtuk and Kok-rum, and whence 
proceed, towards the TaushkaQ-daria, only two 
great channels: Mendagyl-bulak and Tanke-sai 
{vide p. 144) ; and these, too, carry water only 
periodically. It was interesting to me, to observe 
that the main affluent of the Baiter- Yailak is 
formed by the bed of a stream, then dry at its 
point of confluence, which takes its rise in the 
north-west on the high chain of glacier mountains 
stretching to the Kok-rum valley {vide p. 169). 
As is reasonable to suppose, a strong current is 
said to run through the upper coiu^e of the valley 
of this stream, likewise named Baiter and also 
Ak-bel. But this current, again, does not reach, 
at least not superficially, the cauldron-shaped basin 
of Baiter- Yailak. These vallejrs, predestined by 
situation and structure to the possession of a 
plenitude of water, oflfer a striking demonstration 
of the fact, that it is not so much evaporation, as 
the permeability of the drift floor that is to blame 
for the scanty supply of water on the south slope 
of the Tian-Shan. From the Ak-bel valley a 
high glacier-pass is said to lead into the Kok-rum 
valley ; this would explain the name of Ak-bel, 
meaning "WTiite pass." 

Descending southwards fix^m the pass of 
Kok-beljrs, we entered a valley called by the 
Khirgiz Khurgo, draining to the Kok-rum. 
Its broad water-channel was then likewise 
dry. In its lower course the valley contracts, 

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breaking through a range about 1,200 ft. 
(850 m.) high, of conglomerates of fine material^ 
and cleaving a chasm with almost perpendicular 
walls. These conglomerates follow the strike of 
the higher limestone ranges, and, as a many- 
furrowed, eroded range raised in flat arches, they 
form the skirt of the mountain chain as fsir as 
the Bedel valley, and thence beyond in a westerly 
direction, as far as they could be recognised. 

Soon after, the Khurgo valley was seen to join 
the Kok-rum valley. From a projecting terrace 
near the point of junction, a comprehensive view 
is obtained of the winding course of the Kok-shaal 
and Taushkan-daria, and of the mighty, but so 
little known mountain ranges walling in its 
southern bank {vide p. 119 seq.). These ranges 
mount to 11,500 ft. (8,500 m.) above sea-level, 
and, as could be seen from here, carry notable 
glaciers (see also p. 120). From here was clearly 
perceived the deep narrow saddle of the Sary-bel 
pass, and the broad plateau-like depression of the 
Dungaretme pass. We made a steep descent to 
the bank of the rapid, copious Kok-rum, which, 
as already mentioned, has its origin in the richly 
glaciated secondary chain (p. 159). At its head, 
too, the Kirghiz told me, were great glaciers. 
This statement I was myself able to substantiate 
and to fix photographically later on, from a 
height I ascended in tiie background of the Bedel 

We soon again quitted the Kok-rum valley, 
crossed the high desert plateau in a south-west 

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direction, and reached the outlet of the Bedel 
valley at the place of caravan encampment, Uy-tal. 
The picket of the same name, a Chinese forti- 
fication with a barrier across the valley, where 
examination of the caravans is made, Ues eight 
miles (twelve versts) farther back in the valley, 
and was not reached till next day. 

The Bedel pass is, with the exception of the 
Musart pass, the only one possible for caravans 
between the north and the south slopes of the 
Central Tian-Shan. While the Musart route 
leads to Kulja, ministering only the Chinese 
traffic, the Bedel route, on the contrary, dis- 
emboguing at Przhevalsk, serves the Chinese- 
Russian commerce- It has been crossed by 
Przhevalski, Pjevtzoflf, and Krassno£f. These, and 
also Kaulbars, have published some information 
respecting the route. I shall, therefore, in this 
preliminary report say but little of this very 
interesting thoroughfare, and confine myself to 
those of my observations, which refer to data 
hitherto either very little known or altogether 
unknown. By its clear waters, the copious river 
shows at once that there is but Uttle glacier- 
formation to be expected in the valley. The road 
in the lower part of the valley, on the right bank 
and aloof from the river, the bed of which is 
impassable, leads through deep ravines in the 
enormous boulder deposits of the valley-bottom. 
Here, therefore, more than elsewhere one has the 
opportunity of appreciating the extraordinary 
depth of these piled-up masses. Soon after leaving 

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the here uncommonly broad belt of conglomerates, 
argillaceous-calcareous, sandy slates of imusual 
piebald colouring appear, carved by severe erosion 
into cones of blunt pyramidal shape. So ad- 
vanced is their decomposition that they break 
in pieces at the slightest touch. They proved 
to be void of fossils. Continuing our way up 
the valley, we reached a mighty horizon of more 
solid, grey-blue slates, evidently relating to the 
fragile formations in the anterior valley. As to 
their geological position, however, no final judgment 
can for the present be pronounced. They are 
set at a very steep angle ; important disturbance 
and great irregularity is observable in their strati- 
fication. With them alternate, farther up the 
valley, other slates, now of sandy-argillaceous, now of 
calcareous-argillaceous constitution. They appear 
also, however, each in peculiar complexes and 
farther ahead, were relieved by fine, silky, dark slate 
{Glanzschiefer). To this series of rocks, which has 
a breadth of about ten miles, succeeds a zone of 
about two and a half miles in breadth, consisting 
of light-coloured, marble-Uke limestones, enclosing 
beds of red limestone. On the side of incidence 
they are resolved into chaotic rock-series, and 
on the opposite side of the valley they form 
almost perpendicular, unbroken walls. The south- 
western exposure favoured their demolition. On 
the limestones follow the same blue-green slates, 
of which a narrow zone was noted previously in the 
Janart valley (p. 141 seq.)^ and which again in the 
Kukiu1;uk valley assume enormous development 

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(p. 164), and are here in the Bedel vall^ still 
mare mightily developed. They form, here and 
onwards as £0^ as the pass — ^that is, tor more than 
thirteen miles (twenty versts) — ^the enclosing walls, 
but here, too, frequently change their petrpgraj^c 
character. Sometimes they enclose laminated, 
argillaceous-sandy layers, resembling grauwacke, 
often also fine, dark slate. Only once more 
is this series of rock interrupted by a small 
zone of dense, brown limestone ; the amount of 
warping, crushing, and disorganisation of the 
whole stratified system surpasses all conception. 
The enclosing walls, built of this series of rock, are 
distinguished by bluntness of form. Old igneous 
rock was nowhere observed, nor were any fossils 
discovered. But eruptive rocks of diabasic nature 
were noticed in some places. The occurrence 
of such does not, however, satisfactorily explain 
the extraordinary disturbance in the sedimentary 

In the second third of the valley, which is 
altogether about thirty-six miles (fifty-five versts) 
long, at a spot where before the ascent of the 
pass a camp was pitched, I climbed a high dome, 
towering up between the principal valley and a 
lateral valley, running in from the north-east 
Thence I was able, as already related (p. 169), 
to observe and photograph the richly-glaciated 
background of the Kok-rum valley. There, 
shooting up at the valley's head, a magnificent 
ice-peak overtops by several hundreds of yards 
the highest level of its environment, reaching 

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a height which may be reckoned at 17,000 ft. 
(5,200 m.). From the Kok-rum valley a heavily 
ice-clad pass leads into the already-mentioned 
lateral valley {rdde p. 168). 

From the height I had gained I was also 
able to determine that the main ridge, trending 
north-north-east and forming, in a broader sense, 
the enclosing right wall proper of the Bedel 
valley, was not only many-peaked, but was very 
thoroughly clad with glaciers, draining mainly 
to the north-west into the important, deep-cut, 
unexplored, longitudinal Karakol valley, sirnk 
between the Borkoldai chain and the main ridge. 
From the middle of the Bedel valley a short, 
blunts but high lateral chain, wholly covered with 
nevd, is seen stretching in an east to west direction 
towards the main ridge, which trends north-north- 
east. From the heavily glacier-clad southern 
side of the angle, formed by the junction of the 
two chains, descends the Chalmaty valley. Its 
stream, as reported by the Kirghiz, is the most 
copious and most rapid of all the streams on the 
south slope of the Kok-shaal-Tau. It debouches 
opposite the Aul Safar-bai (p. 122) into the 
Kok-shaal. At the head of this Chalmaty valley 
there rises a very high and steep mountain of 
massive breadth, overtopped in this part of the 
Tian-Shan only by the so-called Petroff peak 
(pp. 188, 148). Presumably it is the mountain 
figuring on the forty-verst map under the name 
of Usun-gush. From the Bedel pass I was able 
to take a telephotographic likeness of it 

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The flat saddle of the Bedel pass (about 
18,000 ft; 4,300 m.) is situated, not at the 
head of the Bedel vaUey, but someidiat to the 
west of the pan-shaped trough (Karmulde) at 
the head of the vaUey — ^this Karmulde ecmtaining 
a small glacier. The view from the pass is 
interesting and varied odIj towards the south. 
On the north side the outlook is cut off by the 
Ishigart'Tau, a chain with a quite uniform series 
of peaks. All that is striking in that direction 
is the surprisingly important glacier development 
of the south verdant of that chain. 

The stratigraphic complex of the south side is 
continued on the north side of the Bedel pass. 
Hence it is the extraordinary difference in the 
climatic conditions of the north and the south 
slopes of the great chain, under which moist 
weather and abundance of water prevail on the 
north side, and also the extraordinarily poweri^ 
glacial action, to which the north side was subjected 
in former times, that explains the great difference 
in the relief and in the character of the landscape 
between the north and the south versants. I must 
reserve for the fiiller report the detailed elucidation 
of this subject. In a basin-like expansion of the 
northern Bedel valley, tertiary sandstones were 
observed at a height of about 11,000 ft. (8,300 m.) ; 
they are slightly dislocated. The very copious 
northern Bedel river soon scoops out a deep bed 
in the steeply inclined limestones and sandy argil- 
laceous slates in its course, flows in a narrow ravine, 
and, shortly before the track reaches the broad. 

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flat saddle, leading into the Ishtyk-su valley, turns 
between high, perpendicular waUs of rock sharply 
to the east, disappearing from view in an inaccessible 
cleft. Through the channel of the Ishtyk-su its 
waters reach the Sary-jass, and are then by the 
Kum-aryk conducted to the south side — a re- 
markable career on the part of this river, when 
it is considered how much more easily it might 
have reached the region of the Naryn system. 

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After crossing the flat pass of Ishtyk (about 
11,500 ft ; 8,500 ul) one beholds for the first time 
the Borkoldai chain, the eastern part of which, here 
in full view, presents indeed a plenitude of glaciers, 
but is not particularly steep in its build. It 
does not oonv^ the impression of mighty altitude 
and imposingly bold character, such as is felt in 
the presaice of the magnificent, ice-mailed, giant 
peaks of the western part Not till after the 
descent into the r^ons of the headwaters of the 
Kara-say does one see this chain unfold itself with 
complete magnificence, beyond all expectation 
and conception. It is remarkable how little of 
this chain is hitherto known. Only Kaulbars has 
appreciated its significance. The peaks of this 
chain, attaining possibly to a height of 19,500 ft. 
(6,000 m.) or more, display a beauty and boldness 
of structure, a ruggedness and variety in their snow 
mantles, that can be matched in but few parts 
of the Tian-Shan. One of these grand mountains 
was reckoned by Kaulbars to be the highest in 
the chiun, and iMiptised by him Mount Catherine, 


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of which I took a telephotographic likeness. It is, 
however, considerably exceeded in height by some 
mountains, towering farther to the west and others 
fardier to the east in the same chain. No less 
surprising, especially in respect of nev^ and ice- 
covering, as well as extent of glaciers, is the 
Ak-shiriak chain, trending north-north-east The 
traveller sees it continually to the east of him, 
while he pursues the road from the region of the 
head waters of the Kara-say to that of the Yak-tash. 
In this chain, which altogether attains a length 
of about thirty-three miles (fifty versts), but little 
rock is seen cropping out to view. The greatest 
part lies hidden imder a cloak of fim and ice. 
The abnormal feature, however, in the case is 
this. The nev^-covered slope and the course of 
the great glaciers — ^among which the fine Petroff 
glacier, with a length of thirteen miles and giving 
rise to the Yak-tash river, takes the first place — 
have a precisely western direction towards the 
Syrt plateau of Ak-bel, whereas the chain to the 
west of this plateau, the Yulushu chain, though 
its flanks are directed to the east, shows no 
glacier formation. In no part of the Northern 
Tian-Shan, in which, with but slight exceptions, 
the presence of snow and ice is uniformly depen- 
dent upon a northern and eastern exposure of 
slope, have 1 encoimtered on a large scale any 
instance of a like nature. An explanation of this 
phenomenon can only be found in the fact, that 
the moist winds have a prevalent bias in favour 
of certain directions. 


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To the Ak-shiriak chain, whose peaks attain 
to only 15,400 ft, (4,500 m,), overtopping the Syrt 
plateau by only 2,800—2,600 ft. 700 — 800 m.), 
falls the r61e of water-shed between Naryn and 
Sary-jass — Le. between Syr-daria and Tarim. This 
r61e, however, it plays but defectively. Very 
much effaced is the watershed between ttie many- 
branched head-water region of the Kara-say in 
the west and the Ishtyk-su in the east, as well 
as the watershed between the Yak-tash, flowing 
westwards, and the Yir-tash, flowing eastwards. 
On the flat marshy Sjrrt plateaus, on which the 
rivers just mentioned take their rise, the waters 
from the surrounding glacier chains flow and 
trickle over the shingly fluvioglacial soil in all 
directions. They thus go to the formation of a 
large number of smaller and larger lakes, lying 
flatly embedded amid the greenery of the Alpine 
meadows, as also of extensive swamps. In this 
wide region the water courses ramify, change 
direction, and lose themselves in the swamps to 
such a degree that a demarcation of the terri- 
tories, drained by each respectively, would be 
involved in no small difliculties. How stagnant 
this domain is, may be gathered from the &ct 
that in the beds of the uncommonly numerous 
and copious streams of the plateau hardly anything 
is to be found but fine gravel and sand. To drag 
any heavier material along with them surpasses 
the power of these lazy waters. The lower parts 
of the mountain chain are so wrapped in ddbris, 
that the steeply inclined layers of limestone and 

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slate frequently emerge out of the meadow-lands 
only a few yards above the debris. Everything 
here has acquired a soft, rounded form. At a 
remoter time, however, the streams from here 
obviously pursued a more energetic course through 
the valley. But the enormous masses of moraine 
ddbris, which the converging action of the glaciers, 
flowing in hither from all sides, piled up, got 
gradually washed away in all directions. This 
led to a general levelling and almost com- 
plete ef&cement of relief. And hence to-day 
the water-shed between east and west, be- 
tween south and north, seems hardly any longer 

In the head water region of the Kara-say and 
in the immediate neighbourhood of the glaciers, 
at a height of about 12,000 ft. (8,700 m.)— that 
is, somewhat higher than the locality near the 
Chatyr-kul lake, where Mushketoff first found 
them, tertiary red sandstones and conglomerates 
were observed. These were further to be detected 
at a greater distance westwards on the slope of 
the Jitim-Tau, at an approximately equal height. 
One can hardly be wrong in concluding, that 
these strata were deposited in large mountain 
lakes, which at one time lay embedded here, 
lasting for long geological periods, and of which 
the numerous tarns, that dot the plateau at the 
present day, are the remains. The walls surround- 
ing the valleys, taken in a broader sense, both 
of Kara-say and of Yak-tash, are built of granites 
of very different character. Between the Ishtyk 

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pass and the Kara-say Herr Kddd found in the 
calcareous cli£& Devonian fossils. 

The route we pursued does not coincide entirdy 
with that followed by the caravans, and fixim the 
head waters of the Yak-tash it diverged altogether 
from the caravan route. Whereas the caravans 
take thence a north-west directicm and avul 
themselves of the easy Barskoun pass to cross the 
Terskei-Ala-Tau chain, we turned out of the 
Uechy valley (12,000 ft. ; 8,650 m.), a feeder of 
the Yak-tash, towards the north, and crossed 
the difficult Souka pass (14,000 ft; 4,250 m.) 
Whereas the approach to the south side of 
this Terskei-Ala-Tau and to the passes which 
cross it is, at any point along sixty miles of 
its length, easily accomplished over tiie gradual 
slope of the Sjni; plateaux, the northern side of 
the chain &Us away very steeply to the Issyk Kul 

From the high plateau, rising up to the east 
above the Uechy valley, there is a grand view 
of the enormous wall of the Terskei- (or Kirg^iiz-) 
Ala-Tau. The important glacier system, adorning 
even the south side of this mountain chain, far 
exceeded my expectations. The very extensive 
plateaux forming the waterparting ridge, lie 
under a continuous and immense sheet of ice. 
The high peaks, some of them mounting to about 
18,000 ft. (5,500 m«), are dressed in beautiful 
glacier mantles, whose terminal tongues reach 
far into the Syrt. All this was fixed in tele- 
photographic views. The southern edge of the 

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chain consists, as already related, in great part 
of plateaux, and comparatively few peaks overtop 
these crestforming glaciated expanses, which, how- 
ever, are intersected at intervals by deep breaches. 
The western part of the chain, adjoining the passes 
of Kerege-tash and Tosor, and the most easterly 
part, constitute the exceptions to this character. 
There the relief shows very important, boldly 
shaped peaks. In the central part, therefore, 
on the south side, plateau-formation prevails. The 
rim of the ranges towards the north slope, on the 
contrary, appears resolved into an almost uninter- 
rupted series of fim-covered peaks, displaying the 
richest variety of forms and the utmost steepness. 
The defile of the Souka pass cuts through the 
mighty chain at a place where, on both sides of the 
pass-route, the eye lights on magnificent mountain 
scenery. On the west side, more particularly, 
important glaciers empty into the trough of the 
defile. The ascent of the pass was a severe 
strain for the caravan ; still more severe was the 
descent on the north. At a slight depth below 
the summit of the pass one reaches a lake of 
complicated outline, which was then firozen, 
embedded in a valley, or rather, hoUow, between 
the promontoried slopes of a girdle of bold, 
ice-clad peaks. Out of the intervening gorges 
glaciers are seen, pushing their riven tongues 
into the bays of the lake. It is a splendid 
spectacle. At the time, however, when we 
crossed the lake, the deep mantle of snow, cover- 
ing the ice, and the ice itself, were both very 

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much softened, and the passage with the caravan 
was hazardous. The day before, a Kirghiz cara- 
van on its way up to the pasturing places of the 
Kara-say here lost some hundreds of sheep. The 
wildness and magnificence of this mountain region 
is exceeded in the Tian-Shan only by the moun- 
tains bordering the Inylchek glacier. 

On the south side of the pass dark limestones 
are the prevalent constituent in the enclosing 
mountain walls, and they assume a schistose char- 
acter. On the pass itself there extends a thick 
granite zone, consisting of granites of very varied 

Towards the north there next follows a series 
of dark, highly metamorphic, argillaceous slates, 
and thereafter again come the dark -limestones. 
Thereupon granite appears, with crystalline slates, 
as alone predominant, constituting the environing 
walls of the valley as far as the neighbourhood 
of Lake Issyk KuL The descent from the pass, 
across steep declivities, over enormous accumu- 
lations of moraine-debris and rock-fragments, is 
not easy, but the engirdling mountains are splendid, 
as is also the valley itself. The wealth of form 
in the environing walls of the principal vaUey, 
the magnificent glacier scenery of the lateral 
valleys, the richness of wood, water, and Alpine 
meadows, all imite in distinguishing the Suka 
valley as one of the grandest Alpine valleys of 
the Tian-Shan. 

A chain of very varied form, carrying small 
glaciers, and running in front of the main range 

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of the Terskei-Ala-Tau, parallel to it, is not 
entered in the forty- verst map. 

Masses of ancient and now green-mantled 
moraine-debris form the varied floor of the outer 
valley. These masses, which are there spread 
out far and wide by the action of water, reach 
near to the south shore of Lake Issyk Kul. Old 
terminal moraine-walls are found in the middle 
part of the Souka valley. In the anterior part 
they still attain a very considerable height, and 
so completely block the valley, that the track is 
carried over them. Behind them there formerly 
lay lakes. Also, the lower course of the valley, 
through the mountain chain, once held a lake, and 
that of very great compass ; there the river now 
breaks through huge banks of loose, red tertiary 
sandstones, which are overlaid by considerable 
accumulations of younger moraine-debris. In 
tiiese, two ancient river-terraces are visible; they 
follow the lower course of the river, where a third 
terrace is in process of formation. 

The crossing of the mountain chain from south 
to north took us seven days. On July 9th we 
arrived at Slivkina, now Pokhrovskaya, on the 
south shore of the Issyk Kul, and proceeded 
thence to Przhevalsk and Karkara. Though some 
objects in our programme were only half effected, 
or altogether untouched, the investigations on the 
south side of the great chain had nevertheless 
consumed more than the anticipated time. In 
view, tJierefore, of the far-advanced summer, I 
was under apprehensions that the indispensable 

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I anj m wvfl 
tfadt tfaqe jippBclwikwi weie hapfiij 
not fnlnedL Stodf vc^ko; smIi a&. aecndii^ 
to dke rc|»orts of the ■ «4iinm cjip crig n ced 
in tfaoe rcfpoax fswound wj kucjligjtf ioni^ and 
aOovred the ponccuti on of nqr mxk in the 
moontai dnin tiD tomrds the end of the yesr. 
Much, tiicrelbre; if not alU windi I had Kt my 
heart on doings I was able to a cc o m ^ ish in a 
aatii&ctory manner 

Not to swdl this rqioit, irincfa has alreaify 
litiiUMd unexpected dnnensions — to a oon^ass 
which wif^ iuijieile the printing of it, I am 
mfortunately under the necessity of lestnetkig the 
account of the further progress of the expedition, 
and of its very i mp ort an t and fruitftil kbours, to 
a mere cursory review. 

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In Karkara and Narynkol (Okhotnichi) it became 
necessary to organise the expedition with a view to 
a sojourn in the highest regions of the mountain 
chain, and in order more particularly to establish 
its commissariat on a sound basis, I had to engage 
suitable porters in sufficient number, and to buy 
fresh horses and many other necessaries. Herr 
Keidel, meantime, with a part of the expedi- 
tion, made his way through the valley of UUuk- 
Karkara, and crossed the Sart-jol pass (12,200 ft. ; 
8,720 m.) into the Kok-jar valley, which in its 
upper course is known as Kuberganty. There and 
in its lateral valleys he was to pursue geological 
explorations. He there collected a fauna of the 
lower carboniferous formation. Thence he next 
crossed the Kashka-tyr pass (12,000 ft. ; 8,700 m.), 
and entered the Sary-jass valley. Near the 
mouth of the Myn-tyr valley he marked off a 
basis about a mile long, which he fixed by geo- 
graphical determination, and thence he once more 
fixed the height and position of Khan-Tengri 
and the most important peaks surrounding it. 
After precise calculation of these data, and those 


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of die ui ej aui r iu mU of Hor Pfinm, taken tiie 
p ie rkni^ year from m dilBa c ut fasai (zidr pi 42), 
I fthall be aUe to prodoee tnatwoMj figures 
in reipect of the beigbt and sitnrtion of the 
ftihrniMtfing peak. 

With the bulk of the G^cditkn I Kt off from 
Xarynkol on July I9lh, made my way tfarough 
the great Kapkak raHey, wfaidi I have afaeaify 
cm^sorily described, crossed the Kapkak pass, and 
at onoe tamed in tiie direction of the upper 
com-K of the Sary-jass, where, a little bekiw the 
mout of the Semenoff glacier, I ordered the 
prindpal encampment to be set op. The first 
and most important task for me was to procure 
compoisaticm for the heaviest loss of the fcnre- 
gcnng year (vide p. 83) and in thirteen sheets of 
the size of 8 by 10 English indies, rqplace the 
great tel^hotographic pancmuna of the Central 
Tian-Shan, idiich had then been taken firom a 
standpoint admirably fitted for the pmrpose. 

After a few days* rainy weather, we were 
fiavoured by a calm, accompanied by dear atmo- 
sphere, and the woric was eminently successful 
Meanwhile, biangulating upwards from his basis, 
Herr Keidel had likewise arrived at the chief 
encampment, and then b^^an to lay the triangular 
network &rther above the Semenoff glader. 
In nine days he completed this woric, which 
at last^ and just at the highest part of the 
glader, was very much impeded by bad weather. 
The topographic detail was secured by photo- 
grammetric views. This period of time I turned 

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to account in making a closer investigation of the 
main glacier and its most important tributaries. 
From a bivouac situated thirteen miles (twenty 
versts) up the glacier, and standing about 18,000 fL 
(8,950 m.) high, between two moraine lakes on 
the right moraine bank, I penetrated into a wide 
ice-valley running eastwards. I climbed up its 
broad, nev^-covered saddle (14,400 ft. ; 4,400 m.), 
which I had nearly approached {vide p. 80) the 
year before, when going up the western Baynmkol 
glacier. It gives access to the highest nev^ of the 
last-named glacier, and I accordingly name it the 
Baynmkol pass. The exceptionally favourable 
condition of the fim covering induced me to climb 
also a snow-clad summit to the north of the pass, 
rising to a height of about 15,400 ft. (4,700 m.). 

From both heights I obtained welcome additions 
to the previous year's observations on the structure 
of the walls, enclosing the Baynmkol valley, and 
thus, encircling the Semenoff and Mushketoff 
glaciers, all of which were recorded in a number 
of views and panoramas. 

From a bivouac on the middle moraine of the 
chief glacier (12,500 ft. ; 8,800 m.), some ten and a 
half miles (sixteen versts) from its tongue, I made 
the ascent of a peak, rising on the south edge of 
the Semenoff glacier to a height approximately of 
15,700 ft (4,800 m.). Its situation is particularly 
favourable for the observation of the south-western 
slope of the pyramid of Khan-Tengri. It also 
afforded instructive insight into the structure of 
the grand group of mountains, ranged immediately 

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in front, on the south-western side of Khan-Tengri, 
as also of the lateral ice-vallejrs of the main glacier, 
which have their outlet in the neighbourhood. 
By means of the large apparatus, carried to so 
commanding a height, I was able to take a number 
of instructive telephotographic views. 

The most considerable affluent, which the main 
glacier receives from the south debouches from a 
magnificent valley of about half a mile broad, 
exactly at the point, where the axis of the main 
glacier bends farthest to the south. Hence this 
lateral valley penetrates the most deeply into the 
mountain chain towering up on the south. Push- 
ing forward into this valley, the bordering ranges 
of which are extremely grand — ^not a spot of bare 
rock to be seen on their slopes — ^and reaching a gap 
some 15,000 ft (4,600 m.) high in the ice- wall 
of its western rim, I was able to inform mysdf 
respecting the course of the great lateral ice-vaUeys, 
which branch off from the lower part of tbe 
main glacier, and, bending with a sharp curve 
from south to east, thus interpose between the 
Semenoff and Mushketoff glaciers. From these, 
and other forays in all directions along and across 
the ice of the Semenoff glacier, I was able to 
collect a store of important information, concerning 
this central nev^-basin and its connection with 
the surrounding valleys. But for all that, I had 
not yet got a reliable answer to the question, out 
of which valley rises the terminal cone of Khan- 

Having completed his survey of the Semenoff 

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glacier, Herr Kddd, on August 7th, started on 
his homeward journey. His military duty called 
him back to the fatherland. 

I continued my exploratory journey alone, and 
betook myself to the Adyr-tyr valley. The next 
task devolving on me was to make a complete 
circuit of the Mushketoff glacier, to make a 
survey of it, and to determine its connection with 
the SemenoflF glacier. This was accomplished 
in the course of a week. And included in this 
task was the ascent of a peak 15,400 ft. high 
(4,700 m.), on the north edge of the glacier, £rom 
the summit of which a panoramic view was taken 
of the magnificent southern wall of the glacier. 

Of the Mushketoff glacier I can here only 
hurriedly cite a few elementary features. From 
its tongue, which ends at about 11,400 ft 
(8,480 m.)— that is, some 890 ft. (120 m.) lower 
than that of the Semenoff glacier — ^up to its origin 
in the nev^-basin of the Semenoff glacier, the 
Mushketoff glacier has, according to my deter- 
minations, a length of approximately thirteen mUes 
(twenty versts). It is, therefore, much longer than 
Ignatieff estimated it — ^namely, five miles (eight 
versts). The lower part of the glacier is so thickly 
covered with debris masses, that hardly a bit of ice 
crops through them. Only three to four miles 
farther up does the ice become firee ; its surGsice is 
there very humpy, and torn in a most extraordinary 
manner, whilst it is also bare of snow. In its 
last third, however, the ice becomes fairly well 
closed, and bears a slight snow-mantle. The total 

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fidl of the glacier is indeed slight, but neverthe- 
less greater than that of the SemenofF glacier. 
As in the case of the latter, its main stream 
does not issue from the end of its snout. The 
slope of the surface of the glacier towards the 
northern bank, the cause of which I have pre- 
viously referred to {vide p. 47), causes its main 
efflux to issue from the precipitous north slope of 
the tongue. Between this and the moimtain wall 
at the side there runs a deep trench, through part 
of which the glacier-stream runs with rapid current. 
The slopes are there ahnost free from snow, but 
whoUy covered with debris and blocks of rock. At 
their base there stretches, for at least eight miles 
(twelve versts) into the region of ice, an irregular, 
often interrupted girdle of grass banks with a 
fine Alpine flora. The whole of this northern 
wall, broken by no valley indentation, bears only 
on its highest ridge and on the peaks the ornament 
of fim and ice. On the other hand, the wall 
bounding the glacier on the south side and 
separating it from the Inylchek glacier, presents 
quite a wonderfiil chain of ice-peaks, far surpassing 
in height and wealth of form the engirdling 
southern wall of the Semenoff glacier. Its snowy 
mantle is rarely pierced by a particle of rock. 

Several of these peaks count among the most 
magnificent and highest of the Central Tian-Shan. 
Their height was determined both from Pfann's 
and from Keidel's basis. Out of high valleys 
between the single peaks descend exceedingly steep 
and much-crevassed glaciers, which debouche 

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with beautifully curved terminal tongues into the 
main glacier. They affect the ice-covering of 
the main glacier in a curious way» producing 
great irregularity and ruggedness on its surface. 
In the middle part of the glacier are fifteen to 
twenty ice-lakes of various sizes, green in colour 
and quite irregularly distributed. Throughout the 
half of its lower course, the glacier has an average 
breadth of fully three-fifths of a mile (one verst). 
It then gradually widens tUl, in its last third, it 
attains a width of two to two and a quarter miles 
(three to three and a half versts). There it is 
separated from the Semenoff glacier — i.e. its lateral 
valleys — only by that low, broad wall, previously 
spoken of {vide p. 56 et 8eq.\ crowned by blunt, 
snow-capped domes and traversed by the Mushke- 
toff pass (14,400 ft. ; 4,400 m.). This wall runs 
gradually out into the neo^-basin common to the 
two great glaciers^ a basin in no respect connected 
with KhanrTengri, and to this fact all hitherto 
existing assumptions have to be adjusted. Gigantic 
mountain-walls interpose between it and Khan- 
Tengri, a fact already disclosed by the results of 
the previous year's investigations. 

The rocks constituting the environing walls are 
the same as in the case of the Semenoff glacier : 
an irregular series of dark argillaceous slates, 
phyllitic slates, and dark and pale limestones, filled 
with fossils, which on account of severe pressure 
are no longer identifiable, alternating with gneiss, 
granite, dark argillaceous slates of different char- 
acter, and light striped marbles. There is frequent 

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alternation, but unfortunately the stratigraphic 
relations are not determinable. Just as on the 
southern wall of the Semenoff glacier the whole 
series lies completely buried under fim and ice, also 
here; on the northern wall, where snow and ice 
recede, the series is everjrwhere covered with a 
chaos of shingle and debris. 

In this valley, too, firom which I had the privi- 
lege of beholding the pyramidal peak of Khan- 
Tengri grandly displayed, I obtained no full 
assurance as to its situation. I was, however, 
more than ever confirmed in the assumption that 
its basis must be found in the Inylchek valley. 
Of all the great glaciers of the Central Tian- 
Shan that I have visited, the Mushketofi* glacier is 
the only one, which shows unmistakable signs of 
recent retreat 

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Our next goal was the Inylchek valley. Being 
this time aware of its inhospitable nature, and 
thus prepared for all contingencies, and further- 
more provided with the indispensable number of 
stout porters, I hoped our operations would prove 
more fruitful this year than the last. On this 
depended our chance of getting to the very base 
of Khan-Tengri. 

As already stated {vide p. 76), I had, the pre- 
vious year, when I visited the high plateau 
between Tys-ashu and Sary-jass in company with 
Herr Pfann, seen from thence the final cone of 
Khan-Tengri raised far higher out of its surround- 
ings, than from any other point, even at a greater 
altitude. As I hoped, somewhere in the region of 
that plateau, to find some still more favourable 
spot for an examination of the ranges grouped 
round Khan-Tengri, I sent the caravan by the 
valley route to the Tys-ashu valley, while I with a 
small party turned westwards. Ascending the low- 
browed ridge, forming the margin of the Adyr-tyr 
middle course, and crossing its crowning plateau, I 

193 18 

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traversed the upper Jam-tama valley and its western 
border, and thus reached the deeply eroded valleys 
of the head waters of the Kusgun-ya {vide p, 62). 
Neither these nor the previously-mentioned valley 
are shown on the maps, as I pointed out when 
describing the Tys-ashu valley. They have their 
sources in the south-east and south-south-east, in 
the broad, shallow, lofty nev^-basins, stretching 
between the southern border of the MushketoflP 
glacier and the northern chain of the Inylchek 
valley, and debouche northwards in the Sary-jass. 
At the head of the Kusgun-ya valley I moimted 
a high dome (about 12,800 ft. ; 8,750 m.), and 
beheld due east of me the pyramidal summit of 
Khan-Tengri, towering high above the surround- 
ing ranges. Here I commanded a fiill view of 
the black belt, which at the foot of the summit 
proper encircles the west and north-west flanks 
of the mountain, and which I had already partly 
seen from other points. Close to it was also 
visible a broad black ridge, both belt and ridge 
contrasting sharply with the light-coloured pyra- 
midal summit. Not till later was I able to 
determine the true character of this interstratified 
black formation. 

North-east of Khan-Tengri I noticed, for the 
first time, a sharp snowy peak, which was evidently 
higher even than the giants, rising in the angle 
between the Bayumkol and SemenoflP glaciers. 
This summit seemed to shoot up out of a range, 
radiating in an east-north-easterly direction from 
Khan-Tengri. Hence, I had to assume that, be- 

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tween this range and another, running parallel 
with it, a valley intervened, which, leading from 
the foot of Khan-Tengri, followed the direction 
of that range — that is, to the east or south-east. 
In this case the snowfields of the culminating 
summit might possibly not drain at all to the 
west, so that perhaps it would be useless to try 
to approach the summit from this direction. But 
in case some valley really did drain those vast 
fields of nev^ in an easterly direction, which 
of the streams, seen in dl my wanderings, 
was copious enough to be its outlet and 
where does it debouche? In the northern, or 
more probably in the southern, Musart valley? 
I surely must have noticed such a voluminous 
a£9uent, did it enter either of those valleys. But 
if, after all, there exists drainage from Khan- 
Tengri to the west, does it flow through the 
channel of the Inylchek, or through that of the 
large parallel Kajmdy valley, stretching still more 
to the south? These were the problems which 
pressed upon me. Doubtless, from all sides one 
may see the gigantic final pyramid of the cul- 
minating summit of the Tian-Shan system. It 
is seen towering some 8,800 ft (1,000 m.) above all 
the surrounding ranges, although, owing to the 
defective character of all extant maps, one is 
unable to say from which of the many diverging 
valleys it shoots upwards. Thus my second 
summer in the Tian-Shan was drawing to a close, 
while the main problem was still shrouded in 
mystery. On the possibility of ascending the 

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Inylchek glacier to its source, might depend the 
solution of the puzzle. 

After taking a telephotographic view of the 
giant peak and of the chains encircling it, I 
descended into the western branch of the Kusgun- 
ya valley, and ascended nearly to the same height 
on the Tin: plateau, where I made additional 
surveys, and then hastened down to the Tys- 
ashu valley, where I again joined the caravan. 

In the Kusgun-ya valley I was able to determine 
the intrusion of diabasic rocks, which had calcined 
red and fritted the environing limestones, exactly 
as I had noticed the previous year in the neigh- 
bourhood of the TjTS-ashu pass {vide p. 65). 

The caravan crossed this pass, which I now also 
preferred as the shortest way to the Inylchek 
valley, though not without serious difficulties. 
It was alone due to the heroic co-operation of all 
my people that no serious mishap occurred on 
the glacier of the pass, which was in a very bad 
condition. On the south side, while still high up 
the pass, we were detained two days by snow- 
storms before it was possible to make our way 
down to the valley. Two miles (three versts) 
below the tongue of the glacier ice I established 
our headquarters, this time on the right bank. 

The difficult task of traversing the huge glacier 
was at once taken in hand. I first of aU set up 
a store of provisions about six and a half miles (ten 
versts) up the glacier, and then moved up the en- 
campment from post to post. Owing to the great 
obstacles, presented by the mountains of boulder 

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drift encumbering the surface of the ice, as already 
described, we made but slow progress on the 
lower course of the huge ice-stream. To under- 
stand what follows, I must here return, however 
briefly, to the observations made the previous 
year: After covering about two miles (three versts) 
on the glacier, one sees rising, far ahead, out of the 
ice-field, a high, dark, and massive buttress, which 
divides the glacier into two branches, a narrower 
northern one, and a much broader southern one. 
It was soon seen, that this rocky buttress could 
not be merely the wall of some isolated eminence 
rising out of the glacier, since its brow was sur- 
mounted by snowy crests, rising behind it. Hence 
the black buttress was evidently the abrupt 
escarpment of a mountain range, branching off 
somewhere from the confining ranges of the 
Inylchek glacier valley, and projecting south-west- 
wards into the broad ice-field. Advancing about 
500 yds. (half a verst) farther, and looking up the 
slope of the glacier, we perceived the p3nramidal 
top of Khan-Tengri to the left of, but far 
beyond, the dark escarpment, without being able 
to ascertain with certainty how far beyond, or to 
say from what range it springs. A few hundred 
steps farther, and the interesting picture has again 
vanished. Still, it seemed highly probable that, 
if we succeeded in penetrating into the northern 
branch of the glacier valley, we should necessarily 
get near to the basis of the pyramid, whether it 
rose there at the head of the valley, on the water- 
shed, or in some intersecting side-valley. On 

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this I based my plan, and felt confident that it 
must succeed, if only the weather proved 

At that time I was not yet aware that Khan- 
Tengri could also be sighted farther out, in the 
upper middle course of the Inylchek valley. Nor 
would the fact have helped, since, owing to the 
peculiar shifting of the bounding ranges, the view 
from thfit quarter would afford no certain clue to 
the real position of the mountain. 

I next shifted the camp on to the (orographical) 
left margin of the glacier, so far up (about ten and 
a half miles from its lower end) tJiat we found 
ourselves just opposite the southern termination 
of the intervening range. Here I could satisfy 
myself for the first time of the important fact, 
that this was a very considerable mountain massifs 
a quite compact spur, which must evidently 
branch off from the ridge forming the head of 
the valley — ^that is, from the main water-dividing 
range trending eastwards. Out of the plateau- 
shaped crest of the imposing intervening range, 
one could now see cropping up some rugged, 
lofty, and snowy smnmits ; but here nothing more 
was to be seen of Khan-TengrL 

The material of which this great intervening 
range is built up, is the same as that of the main 
chains flanking the glacier. First of all, a narrow 
belt of phyllitic and sericitic schists of varied char- 
acter ; then dark and coloured clay-schists, diversely 
metamorphosed, extremely pressed and crushed 
out; then light and dark limestones; further on 

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J \Ki: >;ARA KtL&W- Afl^UI H,^yj IT. (SEL h. ?Go). 


[To /ace p. 198. 

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.^ iifcci^:!::: 

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lamellated, sandy-clay strata, whose nature and 
colour are constantly changing ; again, dark lime- 
stones, and lastly white and striped marble. With 
all its clearness of arrangement as a. whole, this 
vast stratified system shows in places the greatest 
irregularity, disorder, and tremendous disturbance. 
Old crystalline rocks are to be seen neither in 
the central massif nor in the bprder-ranges. The 
limestones have been greatly metamorphosed and 
in several beds occur very numerous organic 
remains, changed to silicates, but nothing that 
can be clearly identified. At the mouths, how- 
ever, of some lateral valleys I was able to detect 
some lower carboniferous fossils in the fi'agments 
of limestone drift brought down by the ice. 

Where it is not yet divided by the middle 
range, the glacial valley has a breadth of froia two 
and a half to three miles, and farther on, where 
it is no longer covered with boulder drift, it is 
traversed lengthwise by five parallel moraines. 
Even in these no fi-agments of primitive rocks 
are to be seen. All the more surprising is the 
occurrence of an exceptionally huge granite 
moraine on the left margin, which was followed 
by our ascent. This moraine girdle consists ex- 
clusively of blocks of light-coloured granite of 
varied structure, and pegmatite, often of quite 
colossal dimensions. Almost from the tongue-end 
of the glacier up to this point — that is, at least 
ten miles (fifteen versts) — it formed the left margin 
of the glacier, and of all the morainic beds of 
the main glacier is by far the largest Whence 

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came all these masses of granite drift, since here 
in the valley no granite occurs anywhere ? 

From the camp on the left edge of the glacier, 
where the slopes of the old bank-moraines, facing 
northwards still bear a thick carpet of herbage 
in spite of their position so far within the realm 
of ice, an attempt was now made to penetrate up 
the northern branch of the glacier. Where the 
middle range divides the enormous ice-field it is 
very uneven, and unusually crevassed, owing to 
compression against the cliffs. The crossing was 
difficult, and when at last we approached the 
entrance of the northern glacial valley, we found 
ourselves suddenly confronted by a wide de- 
pression, which had hitherto been hidden by the 
ridges and furrows of the glacier's broad back. It 
stood at a level of about 11,800 ft. (8,600 m.), 
and was filled with an icy lake, in whose blue 
waters floated thousands of tiny icebergs and frozen 
blocks in every shape and form — altogether a 
magnificent sight 

The lake extends for three-quarters of a mile 
across to the opposite bank, where the splendid 
picture ends in a very high and picturesque, 
bold peak, which springs from the dividing ridge 
between the MushketoflP and Inylchek glaciers. 
My admiration, however, soon pelded to a 
feeling of disappointment The lake was found 
to be enclosed on both sides by precipitous rocky 
walls, about 8,900 ft. (1,200 m.) high, which 
descend close to the water's edge. Attempts were 
made both on the north and south side to 

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clamber round these walls, and thus to turn the 
lake, but all in vain. The lake stretches for 
about two and a half miles (four versts) into the 
northern branch of the glacier, which here averages 
three-quarters of a mile in breadth, and would 
probably have oflPered no further obstacles to the 
passage over its stirface. Owing to the northerly 
bend of the southern flank of the valley, here, 
too, no view could be had of Khan-Tengri. But 
the dazzling white SemenoflP peak could be seen, 
rising quite in the background of the long ice- 
valley or even still farther back. As we had 
hitherto always seen Khan-Tengri to the south- 
west of this peak, there could no longer be any 
doubt, that the base of Khan-Tengri must be 
reached through this glacier valley. Thus, the 
goal which I had so long yearned for and 
struggled to gain seemed now near at hand, yet 
could not be reached. At this I was naturally 
much disheartened. 

The only possibility of penetrating into the 
valley was by crossing the range on the 
southern side — ^that is, the middle range. For 
this two days would be required, and so difficult 
an undertaking could never be carried out with 
heavily laden porters. But without a supply of 
provisions and the most indispensable camp 
requisites, it was not advisable to penetrate into a 
glacier valley, which apparently extended at least 
thirty versts farther to the north-east The 
additional supplies would also have to be for- 
warded by the same difficult route, since under 

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the most favourable circumstances we could not 
get back under six days. Hence the attempt had 
to be given up, and with it my project seemed 
to be once more defeated, as in the previous year. 
But it was now made quite clear that the mystery 
of Khan-Tengri would really have been solved on 
that occasion in the previous year, had not the 
ascent of the snowy peak on the southern border 
of the Mushketoff glacier been thwarted by the 
avalanche when within a few feet of the summit 
{vide p* 57). But, despite all adverse circumstances, 
I was determined not to give the matter up. 

In order to settle the question, as to whether 
the base of the monarch of the Tian-Shan might 
not also be reached fix)m the southern branch 
of the Inylchek glacier, we ascended a peak on 
its left bank fix)m 16,400 to 18,000 ft. (5,000— 
5,500 m.) high as far as its shoulder, a sort of 
platform about 14,700 ft. (4,500 m.) high. This 
projecting ledge presented an excellent standpoint 
for overlooking and taking telephotographic and 
ordinary views of all the enclosing ranges of 
the vast glacial basin, with the middle range, the 
icy lake, etc. I must here point out, that the 
chain, skirting the Mushketoff glacier on its south 
side — ^that is, the chain on the north side of the 
Inylchek glacier — also presents on its southern 
slopes the aspect of an almost uninterrupted 
mantle of ice and snow, not indeed, fix)m crest 
to base, as on its northern slope, but at any rate 
down to half its height, and, seen even from this 
position, it produces a profound impression from 

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the grandeur of its mountain forms. Especially 
valuable to me was the discovery that, far beyond 
the point at which the glacier again describes a 
sharp bend to the north-east, there rose the 
upper portion of a snowy pyramid, which, from 
its form and aspect, could only be the summit 
of Khan-Tengri, and consequently, that its base 
must also be reached through the southern 
glacier valley. Moreover, fix)m the trend of the 
moraines, traversing the broad ice-fields in curved 
lines, it could be quite clearly perceived, that 
archaean rocks do not enter into the structure of 
the culminating peak, nor of the most elevated 
section of the Tian-Shan at all. The light- 
coloured granite moraine, sharply distinguished 
from the neighboiujng dark moraines, could now 
be followed only for some eight miles (twelve 
versts) farther up the left margin of the glacier, 
where it abruptly terminates at the mouth of a 
lateral valley. Hence the granite masses could 
only have been derived from this lateral valley. 

The essential point now was to push forward, 
in order accurately to corroborate all these new 
fiicts by completely surveying the farther course 
of the glacier, the extent of which so greatly ex- 
ceeded all previous assumptions. My supplies 
were, however, limited, the distance from head- 
quarters considerable, communication difficult, 
the weather unsettled and doubtfrd. Hence the 
work had to be done rapidly if at all. With a 
tremendous effort the camp was moved some 
thirteen miles (twenty versts) farther up the 

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glacier, where I was able to grant a respite to 
the almost exhausted porters, with the intention 
of then pushing on alone with the two Tyrolese. 
On the way up fix)m the forking of the valley 
we soon reached a portion of the glacier unen- 
cumbered with drift, showing only at unequal 
intervals the dark lines of the three medial and 
two lateral moraines. In each of these moraines 
different materials prevail As already stated, the 
light-coloured granitic moraine on the left margin 
accompanied our route only for about eight miles 
(twelve versts) more. Here the mountain rampart 
is pierced by a glacial valley about three-quarters 
of a mile (one verst) broad, with a perfectly level 
surface (height at confluence about 12,600 ft. ; 
8,850 m.). Very imposing are the icy walls en- 
closing this valley, but not an inch of bare rock 
is to be seen, to account for the mass of granite 
debris in the moraine. But at its head the walls 
fall away suddenly, and just beyond there seems 
to be a large, longitudinal valley, running parallel, 
with the Inylchek. From the information here 
obtained I could at that time only take it for 
the Kayndy valley. Yet it seemed strange and 
hard to explain, that, immediately to the west 
of the granite-bearing side-valley, and branching 
south-westwards towards the parallel valley, a 
ridge crowned by a large snowy plateau should 
be seen projecting from the dividing range be- 
tween the two main valleys out into the glacier 
of the next parallel valley. My standpoint was 
too low, to allow me to follow the course of this 

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ridge for more than a short distance. Hence I 
did not realise the part played by it until I 
visited the Kayndy valley. As the huge masses 
of granitic deposits — ^in the main valley alone 
the moraine has already a length of about 
seventeen miles (twenty-six versts)— -come ex- 
clusively from this lateral valley, I necessarily 
inferred the existence of a large granite nuisdf 
in the parallel valley. In the immediately 
following moraine light grey limestones prevail ; 
in the next, dark schists, intermingled with marble ; 
in the fourth, marble almost exclusively, in blocks 
sometimes of huge size ; lastly, in the right lateral 
moraine, dark eruptive rocks, about which I shall 
have more to say presently. From the distribution 
of the rocky elements it was to be inferred that 
each of these moraines had its source in a mountain 
recess, where a distinct formation prevailed. 

The chief glacier, which so far had already a 
breadth of over two miles (three versts), expands 
here to about four versts. The chain on the right 
margin — ^that is, the middle range dividing the 
valley — ^is intersected by no transverse valleys, and 
farrowed only by gullies high up. On the other 
hand, in the range on the left bank, valley succeeds 
to valley, each enclosing magnificent, extensive 
glaciers. By the pressure of these lateral glaciers, 
the ice of the chief glacier has here been pent up 
and tossed into chaotic crevasses. We were thus 
driven to the right side, where crevasses were 
certainly not lacking, but where they could be 
turned. Here the ice was disposed in hillocks, 

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chiefly through irregular thawing, due to the 
unequal distribution of the overl3dng detritus, and 
partly through the erosion of water-currents. 

In the range on the right side, there now 
appear extended walls of almost black eruptive 
matter, standing out sharply in a long series 
from the light-coloured schists and marble declivi- 
ties. These are interstratified masses of highly 
metamorphic rock, which are doubtless well 
developed also on the southern margin, as I was 
able actually to notice in a few places. But on 
that side most of the formations are hidden beneath 
the almost unbroken snow and ice mantle of the 
slopes, there facing northwards. It is scarcely 
possible to form an adequate idea of the endlessly 
varied outlines and grandeur of the crests, which 
rise above this almost uninterrupted glacial ram- 
part It is of very considerable breadth, and 
divided into several ridges by trough-shaped high 

To judge from the altitude of the very numerous 
glacier tables, consisting mostly of large marble 
slabs, the whole thickness of ice, mdted during 
the summer, was no more than three to five 
feet — a quantity easily replaced by the winter, 
which lasts from seven to eight months in this 
region. The shortness of the summer season, 
lasting at most three months, the enormous extent 
of the glacier, its slight incline (only 140 ft. per 
mile), the immense accmnulation of snow on the 
border-ranges, encircling the upper glacial basin, 
and, lastly, the thick covering of detritus on 

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its lower course, explain the stability of this ice- 

Whether 1 should reach Khan-Tengri now 
depended on the projected advance, which 1 had 
determined to make with the two Tyrolese from 
the last elevated encampment. Only a few 
miles higher up we entered upon an unbroken 
icefield, with a very gentle incline, and covered 
with an almost firm and nearly level coating of 
snow. These conditions enabled us to push 
very rapidly forward on the glacier — ^here about 
two miles (three versts) broad, and penetrating 
deeply into the heart of the frozen mountains. As 
far as the eye could reach all was dazzling white ; 
from the wall on the right margin alone there 
projected sharply a dark, rocky blufi*, standing out 
boldly in the almost arctic landscape, and con- 
cealing what lay beyond. Should we there find 
the long sought for Khan-Tengri ? The range 
on the left side, too, assumes, northwards of the 
wide granite-bearing lateral valley, more and more 
the form of a massifs to which a series of high- 
l3dng conies and valleys gives a remarkably 
diversified configuration. Extraordinary masses of 
nev^ are here stored up, while picturesque glaciers 
descend thence to the valley. The entirely 
glaciated range, which apparently closes the head 
of the valley, branches into two spurs, which at 
first run parallel, but one of which soon turns east, 
the other east-south-east. Thus here, too, as so 
often elsewhere, we have a two-fold conformation. 
We had now been traversing the icefield for 

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nearly five hours at high speed; the enclosiiig 
escarpments began to £ei11 away; the lateral 
glacial valleys grew shorter, broader, mostly 
romided o£P at their heads, and still the dark 
bluff mysteriously concealed the riddle <^ Elian- 
Tengri fix)m our prying eyes. Then, suddenly, 
something white b^fan to assume prominence 
behind the black edge of the promontory — 
nothing yet very conspicuous, but with every 
step forward the white object grew bigger and 
bigger. A fine snowy summit, glittering in the 
sun, appeared aloft, colossal white marble buttresses 
projecting fix>m it ; a few steps farther, and a huge 
pyramid stood out fireely, its base also soon 
coming into view. The giant mountain, the 
monarch of the Tian-Shan, revealed himself to 
my enraptured gaze in all his naked majesty, firom 
his feet, rooted in the glacier ice, up to his crown, 
wrapt in sunlit shifting mists. Nothing whatever 
intervened to conceal any part of the so long 
mysteriously masked base of the mountain. I found 
myself standing close to its southern foot, and con- 
templated in wonder, with amazed and searching 
glance, the sublime spectacle. The strain of the 
last few weeks, which had at last grown almost 
unbearable, was relieved in an instant; the goal 
had been reached, which I had eagerly struggled 
for with all the strength of mind and wilL My 
feelings at that moment bafiled all description. 

I know of no other great mountain that is so 
completely cast in a single unbroken mould, so 
evenly scarped, without shoulder or arite from its 

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topmost crest down to the valley. Yet I should 
like at once to point out that, however powerful 
the impression it produced, still, it did not corre- 
spond to what might be expected from the solitary 
grandeur of Khan-Tengri, which so greatly over- 
tops all other surrounding peaks. I stood too 
near its base, and at too low a level, to see its 
outlines in proper perspective and without too 
much foreshortening. The altitude reached by 
me on the glacier was about 14,800 or 15,000 ft. 
(4,500 or 4,600 m.) ; and if the summit of Khan- 
Tengri attains 28,600 ft. (7,200 m.), the difference 
of 8,500—8,800 ft. (2,600—2,700 m.) was com- 
pressed into far too narrow an optic angle. 
Naturally, this effect must be still more marked 
in the photographs taken by me at this spot. In 
order to do fiiU justice to the majestic form of 
the monarch of the Tian-Shan, and render it in 
the picture, an elevated point would have to 
be scaled in the range bounding the glacier on 
the south, opposite the mountain, at a distance of 
about two and a half versts. For this, however, 
there would be needed long preparatory work and 
especially settled weather; but this had already 
been for some time unsettled, with snowstorms 
every afternoon, and another was just then 
evidently approaching. 

It was now quite clears that the culminating 
eminence of the whole Tian-Shan does not stand in 
the main watershed, and is not a nucleus of converging 
ranges, so that all preconceived notions of the part 
played by it in the Tian-Shan system must be given 


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up. The pyramidal summit rises, in fact, out of 
the secondary spur, which projects fix)m the main 
range far to the south-west, and divides the 
Inylchek glacier valley into two sections. Between 
th^ secondary spur and the part of the main range 
which had hitherto appeared to close in the head 
of the valley, the southern main glacier is pro- 
longed for a much greater distance than could 
be supposed, running north-eastwards through a 
somewhat winding vdley, which, from this point, 
narrows considerably and at the same time becomes 
steeper. I was unable to see up to the head of 
this valley. To do so I should have had to 
advance at least four miles (six versts) farther up 
the main glacier, for which there was no time, 
while the attempt was prevented by the state of 
the weather, visibly growing more threatening. 
Up to the foot of Klian-Tengri I had covered 
thirty-five miles (fifty-three versts) on the glacier, 
and, as already stated, the distance as far as the 
entrance to the glacier- valley, now narrowing away 
to the north-east, was about four miles (six versts). 
According to my estimate, based on the trend 
of the crests, this uppermost glacial valley must 
extend at least from four to five miles (six to eight 
versts) farther to the north-east. Hence the 
Inylchek glacier mtist have a total length of from 
forty-three to forty-six miles {sixty-five to seventy 
versts), as compared with the hitherto-given estimate 
of from six and a half to eight miles {ten to 
twelve versts). It accordingly ranks with the very 
largest ice-streams of the mainland. I have eveiy 

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reason to assume, that the junction of the lateral 
mountain branch, beanng Khan-Tengri, with the 
main range takes place at or near the so-called 
" Marble Wall," in the Bayumkol valley — ^the very 
spot which figures on all maps as Khan-Tengri itself. 
Hence, not Khan-Tengri, hut the ^* Marble Wall,'' 
is the true nttcletis, the " knot " of the main rami- 
fications of the Central Tian-Shan system. As it 
had now to be named, I could find no name more 
suitable to its importance, than that of the first 
President of the Imperial Russian Geographical 
Society, His Imperial Highness Grand Duke 
Nicholas Mikhailovich, who takes such a lively 
interest in the exploration of the Tian-Shan. I 
accordingly propose to call this central sununit 
Mount Nicholas Mikhailovich. 

As was already to be inferred fix>m the preceding 
observations, we must now give up the hitherto 
current xnew, that primitive rocks enter into the 
structure of Khan-Tengri, and all the inferences 
associated with this view must similarly fall to the 

The mmt elevated and central region of the 
Tian-Shan is built up exclusively of sedimentary 
rocks, as has already been shown by my previous 
observations, and was confirmed by all my subsequent 
researches. The pyramidal cone of Khan-Tengri 
consists of more or less metamorphic limestones, 
and of stratified marbles. In the structure of its base 
the same limestones are associated with diversely 
metamorphosed and even crystallised schists. In 
this series of formations are interstratified huge 

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masses of dark^ metamcHphic rocks, apparently 
of diabasic character, constituting the black belt 
{vide p. 194), which encircles the pjrramid, and 
which had already been noticed by some travellers 
from a distance. Of the same rocks is formed the 
broad dark ridge, which is seen close .by, especially 
on the west side. How powerfully the trans- 
forming forces have co-operated with the contact 
of the eruptive rocks is seen in the fact, that in 
their neighbourhood, the limestones and schists 
have been calcined and fritted a deep red. Fossils, 
collected by me in the limestones of the lower part 
of the glacier valley, may perhaps justify an 
inference, concerning the age of all these deposits. 

Now, if Khan-Tengri does not owe its origin to 
any of the eruptive (primitive) rocks, how are we 
to explain its peculiar isolated position, the mystery 
of its solitary eminence, towering still some 
2,600—8,280 ft (800—1,000 m.) above all the 
neighbouring summits? It may be noticed even 
from the middle course of the Inylchek valley 
that, despite all local disturbances, the general 
stratigraphic structure of the ranges shows on the 
whole a southern dip on the southern rampart ; and 
the stratified beds on the northern rampart, on the 
contrary, show in general a northern dip, apart 
of course from greater or less deviations to the 
east and west This may be observed even along 
the flanks of the middle range, dividing the 
Inylchek glacier valley, and in the very structure 
of Khan-Tengri itself Here, then, we seem to 
have the core of a formerly eccisting colossal 

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anticUnal^ which, oxving to subsidence and fatUts 
along the periphery, was ruptured and collapsed. 
In this report frequent mention has been made of 
extensive areas of subsidence and faults in the 
highlands north of the Inylehek valley, and such 
were subsequently observed in the south also. 
O/* the crown of the old arch nothing has been 
preserved, save the summit of Khan-Tengri. Thus 
and thus alone can its isolated eminence in the 
vast Tian-Shan system be explained, an eminence 
which, apart from igneous cones, is without 
example in mountain systems of like extent. I 
am sorry I must here refrain from entering more 
fully into this subject, which will be dealt with in 
the more detailed report 

Facing my standpoint at the foot of Khan- 
Tengri there opens in the southern rampart a 
glacier valley, which averages about one verst 
broad, slopes gently upwards, and at its head 
shows only a broad, flat sill. It must give easy 
access to the immediately following large parallel, 
Umgitu^Jinal valley, which doubtless conceals a glacier 
rivalling the Inylehek, but of which hitherto nobody 
had any knowledge. Had we been provided with 
the needful supplies, fuel, and the requisite number 
of porters, we might have started fr*om this point 
on the exploration of this large unknown glacier, 
and at the same time followed the course of the 
Inylehek glacier to its very head, and explored 
more carefrdly its enclosing ramparts. But when 
it is remembered that the distance from our base 
at Narynkol was about 180 miles, by a route in 

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places very difficult, and that most of what was 
required for a party, numbering at least ten, and 
for a stay of several weeks in this icy region, would 
have to be brought thence, it will be understood 
that such an undertaking exceeded the resources 
of a private explorer. It would, in the first place, 
have been quite impossible for him, in a country 
like this, to hire the additional number of trust- 
worthy, experienced and disciplined porters, in- 
dispensable for the purpose, and whose number 
I estimate at fi-om twenty to twenty-five. But 
not more than at most ten really capable and good 
climbing porters could anywhere be obtained; 
even these would be found wanting at critical 
moments, as had so often happened to me, and 
the expedition would then fail in its object An 
expedition, organised by the Imperial Russian 
Geographical Society, and backed up by the 
Government, could alone carry out such an imder- 
taking with success. As I hoped in any case to 
be able, during the further course of the journey, 
to penetrate fi-om some point of its middle course 
into that large, parallel, longitudinal valley, I did 
not regret the opportunity now postponed. As 
it turned out, however, this unknown glacial 
region was fated to remain closed for me also. 

I should like here to make a few brief remarks 
on the possibility of climbing Khan-Tengri, as 
it has been wrongly ^sumed, that this exploit was 
the main object of my expedition. The heavily 
glaciated plateau, crowning the ridge out of which 
rises up the huge pyramid, I estimate at about 

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1,800 or 1,600 ft. (400 or 500 m.) above my 
standpoint on the glacier. At the west base of 
the pyramid a saddle filled with nev^ is sunk deep 
in the back of the plateau-like ridge; from this 
a steep but still passable glacier coidoir descends 
to the main glacier. Hence the saddle can be 
reached without any great difficulty, and from it 
the pyramid may still rise to a height of about 
6,900 ft. (2,100 m.). The southern arHe and the 
south face are unassailable, the very thought of 
attacking them being excluded by their tremen- 
dously steep glaciated slope. A little more hope 
is awakened by the rocky and much curved south- 
west arHe. If the angle of inclination of the 
pyramid's south-west arite be put only at forty-five 
degrees, a very moderate estimation, the absolute 
height of the culminating point above the saddle at 
6,900 ft. (2,100 m.), and the windings of the ridge 
be taken into consideration, there would be rather 
more than 9,900 ft. (3,000 m.) of a rock arHe to be 
surmounted. Since, as already stated, the pjrramid 
consists of marble, which, as is well known, is 
the kind of rock that presents the greatest 
difficulty to climbers, while in places the strata 
are disposed one above the other like tiles on a 
roof, the experienced Alpinist will be able for 
himself to form some idea of the difficulties 
awaiting him. Nor are there any chimneys, by 
which the ascent might be facilitated. Licdges 
and terraces, as far as can be judged fr*om below, 
are hardly discoverable, except a little beneath 
the sununit, while, on the other hand, there is 

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no lack of all kinds of obstacles along the arite. 
Yet this side offers a better promise of reaching 
the top, than any other direction. 

A traveller, who a few years ago observed Khan- 
Tengri fix)m the Sary-jass valley, and perhaps 
also fix>m a somewhat nearer standpoint, con- 
sidered, apart fix)m the great mistake he made 
regarding the direction, fix>m which the mountain 
should be approached, that the north-north-east 
slope, with its great chimney, was of relatively 
easy ascent. This, however, is not the case. On 
several occasions we had sufficiently close views 
of that wall, and all the members of the expedition 
were unanimously of opinion, that it offered not 
the slightest chance of a successful ascent. 

A sine qua non for every attempt is, naturally^ 
the possibility of bringing thither everything 
needed for several weeks' stay in that glacial region 
so difficult of access. What this means has already 
been pointed out Lastly, the very precarious 
climatic conditions have to be considered. If 
icy winds blew daily down the valley, as they 
did during my sojoinn on the glacier, the mere 
attempt to climb the rocks of Khan-Tengri would 
be out of the question. By increasing atmospheric 
disturbances, followed by a snowstorm, a premature 
end was put to my observations at the foot of 
Khan-Tengri, when we had scarcely been able to 
take the most indispensable photographic views. 

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From our chief encampment at the end of the 
glacier-tongue I made my way a few days later 
some eighteen versts down the valley, where 
remains of old morainic drift could constantly 
be observed, often reaching more than 1,000 ft. 
(800 m.) high up the walls of the valley. Shortly 
before reaching the old barrier (see p. 68) the 
wild Achailo torrent debouches on the left bank 
from a narrow, rocky gorge (confluence about 
8,600 ft ; 2,800 m.). It is noteworthy, that this 
lateral stream is the only one in the middle and 
lower course of the Inylchek river, that discharges 
at the level of the main valley-bed. All other 
lateral valleys have their mouths very high above 
the level of the main valley. The deep erosion 
is here explained by the copious stream, the steep 
fall compared with its short course, and by the 
very disturbed and decomposed schists, in which 
the valley is cut. Of the two branches of the 
head waters, one comes from the east, the other 
from the south-east. Both drain considerable 
glaciers, which descend from an hitherto unknown 
range, sumptuously clothed with glaciers, which 
extends, in a direction north-west to south-east, 


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for about eighteen versts between the Inylchek 
and Kayndy vallejrs, and presents a great variety 
of forms. 

This superb mountain range rises on an average 
to a height of about 18,000 ft. (4,500 m.), while 
its highest peaks exceed 16,000 ft (5,000 m.) 
Between it and a parallel limestone range, whose 
northern part presents a tj^ical instance of a ridge 
in a state of almost accomplished abrasion, there 
intervenes a shallow trough, a kind of a high 
plateau (Syrt), which has an average breadth of 
three versts, having a mean height of about 12,000 
ft. (8,600 m.), and is richly carpeted with Alpine 
herbage. On its scarcely distinguishable highest 
protuberance (about 12;500 ft ; 8,800 m.) lies the 
watershed between the Inylchek and the next 
parallel valley, the Kayndy, 

As already stated, none of the maps show any 
of the valleys and moimtain ranges, amid which 
my expedition now moved for ten days or more. 
As my surveys have not yet been worked up, 
I shall for the present confine myself to empha- 
sising the more salient features. The above- 
mentioned plateau (Syrt) is nothing more than 
the floor of an old glacial trough, from which 
formerly large glaciers, about 2,500 or 8,000 ft. 
(800 or 900 m.) deep, descended on both sides, 
one very steeply down to the Inylchek, the other 
more gently to the Kayndy valley. This can 
still be clearly traced on both sides, but especially 
on the Inylchek side, by the course followed by 
the old moraines. Rocks entering into the 

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structure of this lofty range, and extending 
farther on to the Kayndy valley, are highly 
metamorphised schists of very diversified appear- 
ances — ^phyllites, semi-crystallised limestones, white 
marble, and lastly, diabase. The schists and 
the limestones are set at a high angle. In the 
first lateral valley, descending from the east, 
appear to lie the largest glaciers and to rise the 
highest snowy peaks, as may be seen in the ascent 
from the north. They assume their grandest forms 
in the vicinity of the pass, where at the foot of a 
beautiful, bold peak, a morainic lake of considerable 
size extends into the green Alpine meadows. On 
the descent down the south side are seen huge 
"Tors" of diabase, which break through the 
i^gg^ masses of the limestones and schists, and 
often develop wild jagged crests along the highest 
ridges. In none of the Central Tian-Shan valleys, 
save in the immediate neighbourhood of Khan- 
Tengri, have I seen igneous rocks of such extent 
and thickness, as those along the upper course of 
the Kayndy. Here the eruptive matter (diabase), 
displays very diversified character. 

Near its jimction with the Kayndy the trough- 
shaped vaUey running southwards from the plateau 
contracts to an impassable serrated caiion, confined 
between vertical limestone walls. The track there- 
fore leads up very steep slopes on the right bank 
to a considerable elevation, where the whole 
surface is strewn with great quantities of white 
marble and contact-schistose blocks. The descent 
is quite as steep to the Kayndy valley, which owes 

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its name to the birch-woods, characteristic of its 
lower course. In its upper course, which has a 
breadth of from a quarter to half a mile, the 
moimds of 4^bris, lying at the foot of the almost 
vertical limestone walls on the left bank, are 
overgrown with little clumps of pine. 

As the axis of the valley frequently follows the 
strike of the strata (N. by 40*" E.) the side facing 
the dip of the strata has a steep, sometimes per- 
pendicular front Nevertheless, the escarpments 
of the valley do not present the same imposing 
character as those of the Inylchek valley. The 
ranges are not so high, and present less diversified 

From the mouth of the southern Achailo river 
we wandered along the left bank of the Kayndy, 
over a broad, very gently-inclined, grassy terrace, 
some sixteen miles up to the tongue of the 
glacier, which stands at a height of about 
11,500 ft. (8,250 m.). I was surprised to find no 
trace of granite or of other archaean rocks along 
the whole way, either in the river drift or in 
the morainic beds. From this it may be inferred 
that the often-mentioned granite massifs whose 
fragments are brought down and deposited on 
the Inylchek glacier, was not in this valley, 
as I had hitherto supposed. The river consists 
of a single channel, and although of considerable 
size, is still not nearly so copious, as might be 
expected from a glacier of such extent as that 
of the Inylchek. Both observations were clear 
indications, that the Kajmdy could not be the 

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great longitudinal valley, that I was seeking. 
The enclosing waUs are composed of a series of 
light and dark limestones, several beds being 
exceptionally rich in fossils, which, however, have 
been crushed and squeezed by contact with the 
diabase. Still some of the collected samples may 
perhaps be identified. Diabase of diverse structiu^, 
horn slates (Hornschiefer)^ diabasic tuffs, are of 
firequent occurrence in the boulder drift, while 
higher up the valley, highly metamorphic clay- 
schists and sandstones were again met wi^. 
Strange to say, no marbles occur in the whole 
zone of the glacier. But the stratigraphic relations 
are very complicated, and Herr Keidel thought 
he recognised scale-structure during his visit to the 
middle parts of the valley in the previous year. 

For the first quarter of its course the Kayndy 
glacier is also covered with a mass of detritus, 
though far less extensive and less thick, than 
that of the Inylchek glacier. After three or 
four miles the ice becomes fi:'ee, and here very 
imeven, which, however, is rather the result of 
erosion from the running waters, than the effect 
of pressure. Farther up the ice is smooth. It 
has an average breadth of 2,800—2,600 ft. (700 
— 800 m.), with a total length of twelve to thirteen 
miles, a very winding form, and a slight incline. 
On the left margin several green tarns fill de- 
pressions in the ice. Worth mentioning, as a 
rare phenomenon in the Tian-Shan, is a lofty 
and copious waterfall in the right scarp of the 
valley. On the left bank a verdant terrace, over- 

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grown with cargana-bush, still skirts the ice some 
five miles upwards. 

As a result of my exploration it became 
evident, that the Kayndy glacier extends only 
for a short stretch north-eastwards parallel with 
the Inylchek glacier ; it is soon closed in by 
the already-mentioned spur {vide p. 204), which 
branches off below the mouth of the granite- 
bearing lateral valley of the Inylchek glacier 
from the southern scarp of this valley. The signi- 
ficance and trend of this spur, which I had not 
clearly understood till now, became clear, and 
the absence of granite in the Kayndy valley was 
now also explained. The Kayndy valley is tktis 
shown to be merely interposed between a much 
longer longitudinal valley and the Inylchek basin. 
A deep gap in the completely glaciated mountain 
wall, enclosing the head of the Kajmdy valley, 
might give access to, or at least afford a view of, 
this more extensive longitudinal valley confining 
the Kajmdy valley. The range forming the 
northern scarp of the glacier, is crowned by a 
series of fine snowy peaks, which cannot be 
seen from the Inylchek, because, as I have already 
pointed out, the parting wall there ramifies into 
two parallel spurs. On the other hand, one of the 
highest of the Inylchek mountains is visible through 
a gap from the Kayndy glacier. The southern 
scarp of the valley is likewise glaciated to a 
considerable extent, but is lower than the northern. 
It is here that the Tian-Shan m^Lssif begins to slope 
southwards {vide pp. 41, 47, 67), and while the 

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vjicw moK A CAP (AfloL'r i^pEwo rr,) between kahakol ahu Titt wk^tean 



[To /act p, 232. 

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northern range forms a mountain mass rarely carved 
by a valley, the southern range is cut up by numer- 
ous ravines, disposed obliquely to the long axis of 
the valley. Several small and two large lateral 
glaciers descend through these ravines towards 
the main glacier, but none except the two large 
ones now reach it. No indications could be dis- 
covered of any shrinkage of the glacier in recent 
times. But what a poor survival the present 
glacier is, when compared with its former extent 
is shown by traces, filling the whole valley. For 
some stretches the old moraines rise to two- 
thirds of the height of the enclosing walls — ^that 
is, to 2,000 ft. (600 m.) above the bed of the 

From a point in the enclosing wall on the left 
side, some 8,000 ft. (1,000 m.) above the glacier 
level, a panoramic view was obtained of the glacier 
and of the encircling ranges. 

In order to visit the next large parallel valley, 
I resumed my wanderings, and made my way 
down the valley for twenty-four miles, from the 
tongue of the Kayndy glacier. In its middle 
course the Kayndy valley is distinguished by a 
wealth of rich grazing groimds, pine-groves, and 
a very fine and varied flora, such as one does not 
expect to meet with in a southern Tian-Shan 
valley. Here, too, the intruding diabasic rocks have 
variously transformed the schists and limestones 
of the cliffs enclosing the valley. About twenty 
miles below the end of the glacier, where the 
valley contracts to a ravine, it bends sharply 

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'.»'ZH THH UTTT. \ rr.O PASS 


n 'ine- ;ur*iii?r come of 
an. boca ades. The 

jfr iis**'ifiiMiL iM X3S iiniirihiiMa of the 

^neiusBiiir tiie ^3ilc7. On tixe hisUMy of 
jc jeast s. jBT^ 'Hf *nf^fr y^^ititr Jpptwjt.^ m the 
Yjan-'^iuKL I ha^r^ erai*^ed x diBorr of mj awn, 
wtLU!!! 'tii&sn in. iomc^ pcnec^ fr*JBL ^^^ faitkcfto 
axcsrtaineiL I caaiiot;^. hiiwe^er. jubtlfv 
ffiirii^iK* X wtdiin die jmits of this 
rspcrt. ami mnsL tfii3ciLr&. rcsmne it fcr the 

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In the middle course of the valley the range, 
skirting the left bank of the Kayndy, appears to 
resolve itself into a series of spurs, runnmg north- 
west and south-east, and bearing rugged summits, 
clothed with abundant glaciers. One of them 
displays a remarkably bold form, like a diminutive 
Khan-Tengri. Between these ridges a number of 
short, high-lying valleys are indentated, all collec- 
tively called Kara-bel by the Kirghiz ; only through 
the most easterly of these valleys, is it possible to 
cross the mountain range towards the south. Be- 
tween the deep bed of the middle Kayndy valley in 
the north, and the much more deeply excavated 
bed of the next parallel valley in the south, there 
stretches an almost plateau-like flattened ridge, 
covered with Alpine meadows, in the water-parting 
range, which forms an extensive depression between 
the series of peaks, ranged faither up and down the 
valley. The slope of this broad, flat ridge, gently 
inclined towards the Kayndy, is disposed in blunt 
ribs, divided by level trough-like upland valleys, 
which, however, are more deeply excavated where 
they approach the edge of the plateau ; this falls 

236 15 

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in high, steep declivities down to the level of the 
main valley. Formerly, when this was filled with 
glacier ice, the lateral ice-streams, descending fix)m 
the nev^ once covering the plateau with but gentle 
incline through these troughs, joined the main 
glacier at a great height. The present relief of 
this upland region is entirely the -result of glacial 
agencies. On the other hand, the far steeper 
slopes, facing southwards are intersected by deep, 
impassable ravines. Between both slopes there 
stretches a broad whale-back, inclined somewhat 
towards the south-west In this very gently 
sloping flat top is sunk a shallow cauldron, opening 
to the south-west, where the waters, converging 
in their descent fix)m various directions, are 
collected in three channels, which in their turn 
unite still farther down in a single course. The 
Kirghiz, who find good summer pasture in this 
Alpine region, call it Uch-shaU " Three Valleys," 
and the transverse chain of variously shaped, 
snow-clad summits a little farther west, they call 
Uch-shat-Tau. The main stream, formed by the 
three converging rivulets turns south and south- 
west, and soon disappears in a "nullah," the 
course of which I was unable accurately to deter- 
mine. The Kirghiz say it joins the Sary-jass, 
here descending from the north. 

Thus the flat, truncated ridge about 18,000 ft. 
(4,000 m.) high, where the sources of the Uch-shat 
river rise, forms the crest of the plateau region, but 
this, as has been stated, is the lowest part of the 
dividing range between the middle Kayndy and 

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the next southern parallel valley. A depression 
about 12,800 ft. (8,750 m.) high in this crest is 
the Kara-archa pass, so called from the dark 
growth of bushy archa (Juniperus sabina) on its 
southern slope. This pass alone gives access to 
that southern parallel valley, that the Kirghiz call 
Koi-kaf—\h2it is to say, "Sheep-sack," "sack" 
alluding to the narrow, closed form of the valley, 
while Koi (=" sheep"), means that sheep are 
driven hither to graze. The Kirghiz, at that 
time residing in the Kajmdy valley, told me it 
was so long that nobody could get to its end, 
and so narrow and so completely filled with rushing 
water that it was not passable in summer; that 
a very large glacier and much snow stretched 
away in the background, where there are very 
high mountains. In winter, however, when the 
water is very low, the Kirghiz drive their sheep 
over the Kara-archa pass down the valley, and 
then thirteen miles up in the Koi-kaf valley, which 
hitherto ravine-like, broadens out and offers some 
poorgrazing-grounds, with the sour steppe herbage 
preferred by the sheep. They told me, also, that 
owing to its low level and narrow enclosure, as 
well as to its position, extending far to the south, 
this spot is warm and nearly free from snow — a 
good wintering place for the flocks. 

Now, it was for us to discover for ourselves, 
whether it might not withal be possible for Alpine 
climbers to penetrate into this valley, which, from 
all that I had seen and heard, must be the large 
southern valley I was seeking, running parallel to 

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the Inylchek. By the narrow mouth of the first 
Kara-bel valley, cut in between huge cavernous 
conglomerate walls, we made our way to a trough- 
like expanse, encircled by grass-grown morainic 
ridges. These stretch along the foot of an im- 
posing, picturesque rocky wall, crowned by glaciers, 
where dark diabasic cliffs stand out in the fore- 
ground, strongly contrasting with the masses of 
light limestones and marble-schists rising behind 
them. The route now lay over steep morainic 
ground towards the south-east, and over the crest 
of a ridge between two parallel troughs, to a pass 
(Kara-bel pass) about 11,500 ft. (8,450 m.) high, 
then southwards down toward the Uch-shat 
as far as the converging point (about 10,500 ft ; 
8,250 m.) of the three streamlets, and so up 
through the easternmost of the three valleys, 
between much disturbed chloritic schists and 
sandstones, where we established our chief camp 
(about 11,500 ft ; 8,500 m.), on the slope immedi- 
ately below the Kara-archa pass. From this point 
I crossed the pass (about 12,800 ft ; 8,750 m.), and 
by a difficult descent southwards, reached a region 
drained by two streams, which unite farther on and 
then lose themselves in a deep, narrow gorge. In 
order to turn this obstacle, we surmounted two 
ridges, about 10,500 ft (8,250 m.) and 11,000 ft. 
(8,400 m.), projecting high above the yawning 
chasm, and then descended some 2,500 or 8,000 ft. 
(800 or 900 m.), by an unusually steep track, 
down an escarpment directly to the bottom of 
the gorge. Here we traversed for some distance 

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a zone of sedimentary rocks — ^limestones, greatly 
decomposed, and metamorphosed dark and light 
clay-schists with interstratified diabasic schists. 
From the pass and from the two ridges we com- 
manded partial views of the highlands. Towards 
the south and south-east, narrow, deeply cloven 
rocky crests, running apparently in wild disorder 
close together and but sparsely clad with snow 
and ice, are intersected by ravines of enormous 
depth. It was difficult to get a clear grasp of 
the dominant features in the general reUef of 
these crests. We were, however, able at least 
to follow the ridge lines of the border-ranges 
along the course of the Sary-jass. But the in- 
tervening crests were too near our standpoints, and 
these were not elevated enough, to afford a view of 
the ice-clad regions of the Sabavchy and Kum- 
aryk, especially in the then clouded state of the 
atmosphere. On the east side, the mountain mass 
was cut up in a surprisingly diversified way by 
erosion, confined, however, to the formation of 
glens and gorges at a high level. The process 
of their development seemed to be suddenly 
arrested, and they are now mostly dry and even 
free from snow, having failed, so to speak, in 
their intended vocation. 

The Kara-archa gorge, at first from fifty to 
sixty-five feet wide, soon contracts to thirty, 
and in places even to twelve feet Its bed, 
thickly strewn with rock blocks, is swept by 
the swirling waters of the Kara-archa torrent. 
Vertical white marble walls, 1,800—1,700 ft 

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(400 — 500 m.) high, partly in thick slabs, partly 
in schistose beds set at a high angle, enclose 
the tortuous defile, in whose dim light could 
be seen the most magnificent dome-shaped 
hollows scooped by the water. Most amazing 
bendings, twistings, and burstings are shown 
in the strata of these steep ramparts. More- 
over, the extraordinary extent of the weather- 
ing and destruction often gave the impression 
that the masses, now hanging loosely together, 
might topple over at any moment. Nevertheless, 
the remains of a ruined vault may be recognised 
from the strike of the strata and the angles of 
incidence. Beds of conglomerate, whose material 
consists exclusively of white marble fragments, 
bound together by white cement, extend some 
height up the rocky walls, and numerous huge 
blocks of such conglomerates often obstruct the 
way in the bed of the stream, while others, already 
loosened, threaten to tumble down. Morainic drift 
is also found in the gorge, deposited on ledges along 
the marble walls. Beside the conglomerates, the 
material in the river-bed consists nearly exclusively 
of white marble and green phyllite. During my 
long wanderings in mountam regions I have 
scarcely anywhere seen more chaotic forms than 
in this ravine, which are all the more remarkable 
from the material, of which the mountains are here 
built up. It is interesting to note that, at an 
average height of 500 ft (150 hl) above the pre- 
sent bed of the gorge, blocks of loose conglomerate 
are still preserved on small terraces of the steep 

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ramparts, and thus show the former level of the 
Kara-areha stream. By this difficult route we 
were led some two and a half miles (four versts) 
through the eafion. A little beyond its southern 
outlet a remarkable geological picture was pre- 
sented — thick beds, alternating with slabs, both of 
very dense unfossiliferous limestone, the core of 
a womdown fold, whose strike (N. by 50° W.) 
is completely enclosed by the system of the far 
more vertically disposed, marble-like limestones 
and schists, which strike N. by 60'' E. I have 
fixed the remarkable site by a photograph, and 
was able to follow this old fold farther on in the 
rocky walls running north-west and south-east. 

The cation, in its roughly southern course, 
broadens into a valley from 260 to 800 ft. wide, 
and is encircled by bare, rugged walls of brown 
limestone, 8,600 — 4,000 ft. (1,100 — 1,200 m.) 
high. After a short course it is shut in by a still 
more elevated precipitous, rocky mountain range, 
striking from north-east to south-west across tiie 
axis of the Kara-archa. The traveller hears a 
mighty roar of swirling waters, but does not see the 
stream, rushing in a deeply excavated bed along 
the very foot of the steep, rocky barrier, until he 
has approached close to the brink. This is the 
longitudinal gorge of the Koi-kaf, which is joined 
on its right bank by the transverse cleft of the 
Kara-archa. No doubt a volume of water, such 
as is discharged through this fluvial bed, can 
owe its existence, in a region of such slight 
precipitation, only to some very extensive and 

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lofty glacier region. But in the winding gorge, 
some sixty-five feet (twenty metres) wide, through 
which the river rushes along, one could see only 
a little way up or down stream, the distant view 
being blocked by steep rocky walls. 

I had our little mountain tent now set up on 
a small terrace (about 7»000 ft. ; 2,150 m.) near 
the confluence of the Kara-archa. In its com- 
plete seclusion — a kind of a cirque, enclosed 
on all sides by wild, overhanging rocky cliffs — 
the site was highly romantic, but appallingly 
desolate: loose loess soil, much boulder drift, 
mounds of waste, fluvio-glacial debris, a chaos 
of blocks in the river-bed, running waters on 
both sides, the only growth the stunted scrubby 
vegetation of the southern deserts and stony 
steppes 1 For the copious streams, here rushing 
by, leave no fertilising effects behind; the 
ground remains dry, dusty, parched. Seldom have 
I seen in the mountains a more arid valley. The 
air was dank, oppressively sultry, the worry intense 
from stinging gnats. Gusts of wind, coming at 
times fix>m the gorge, as fix>m a blast-Aimace, 
enveloped us in clouds of loess dust Our stay 
in such a place was extremely unpleasant, especially 
at night, with its stifling, heavy atmosphere and 
tormenting, winged pests, fix>m which there was 
no escape. The sky was veiled, owing to fine loess- 
particles, whirled aloft; and floating in the air; 
one could hardly distinguish the lofty crest-lines of 
the rugged walls. These unfavourable conditions 
hastened our operations. We forced our way up 

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the river-gorge alongside its seething water, but 
ajfter four versts of strenuous efforts found the 
way blocked by the impassable current, running 
close under the winding rocky walls. We tried 
to overcome the obstacle by forcing a passage high 
up on the cUffs; but here the gorge describes 
such narrow windings, that we soon found ourselves 
again barred by a like obstacle at a bluff surrounded 
by water. Moreover, all clambering over the 
smooth marble cliffs soon became impossible. And 
when the eye followed the sharp bends described 
by the crests of the enclosing ramparts, it was 
soon seen that this serpentine course was con- 
tinued very far up the valley; the undertaking 
had therefore to be abandoned as hopeless. 

The Kirghiz were right after all; nevertheless, 
I decided, in order to get a view of the upper 
course of the valley, to climb a high eminence in 
the steep enclosing walls. From such an eleva- 
tion, from which in any case the snowy ranges 
of the Kiun-aryk and Sabavchy region would 
be visible, it would doubtless be possible to ascer- 
tain the relation of the Koi-kaf to those valleys. 
But this also proved useless, as the atmosphere 
had grown so much thicker, that even the 
nearest crests were almost veiled in mist. Owing 
to the fine loess dust, constantly rising, the air 
is probably here generally hazy ; but now, a heavy 
barometric pressure having set in, there was 
added a vapoury cloud, which prevented me from 
getting a view of that most mysterious region 
of the Tian-Shan. 

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With a heavy heart I decided to return from 
this inhospitable region. I should have willingly 
endured the discomforts of a few days' further 
stay in that desolate region, if I could have 
hoped for any satisfactory results. But the 
weather forecast was too unfavourable. 

As it was, I could not have been very far from 
the opening of the Kum-aryk valley on to the 
southern plain, since I now stood only about 
1,800 ft. (400 m.) above its level. One could also 
perceive from the contours of the lofty crests, 
that those valleys, which I had visited some 
months ago, could not be far off. Had it been 
possible to descend by the ravine, the mouth of 
the Kum-aryk could easily have been reached in 
a single day, however intricate might be the 
windings of the gorge. The Kirghiz were able to 
assure me, that the waters of the imited streams 
turn several times sharply to the west, and again 
suddenly to the east, thus often flowing towards 
each other in narrow curves. This they knew 
of old, though none of them had yet traversed 
the narrows. The question uppermost in my 
mind was whether the Koi-kaf might be identical 
with the longitudinal Ak-su valley of the forty- 
verst map {vide p. 157). Were this not the case, 
then the Ak-su could only be the next parallel 
southern valley. 

From the character of all these valleys, which, 
south of the Kajmdy, are mere cafions, and from the 
carving of the mountain masses, which is limited 
to their upper parts, a point I have already referred 

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to {vide p. 229), it follows that the formation of 
real valleys in this part of the Central Tian-Shan 
has been prevented by the intervening and rapidly 
increasing dryness of the climate. There is 
nothing to wash down the sides of the valley, while 
the discharge from the great glaciers, descending 
rapidly by the main channels, excavates their beds 
deeper and deeper, and the form of the caflon is 
no longer eroded laterally to the profile of a real 

At the very first glance at the bed of the Koi- 
kaf river I noticed a pretty considerable quantity 
of granite, and that, too, of the same kind as is 
fomid in the moraine on the left side of the 
Inylchek glacier. This was a ftirther proof, that 
the granite massif, which supplies its moraine 
material to the Inylchek through a lateral valley, 
connecting both, must appear also in the Koi-kaf 
valley, and hence this must be the great channel, 
which stretches parallel to the Inylchek far to 
the east. As, however, the central main range, 
which undoubtedly likewise encloses the head of the 
Koi-kaf, is formed, as proved beyond question, of 
sedimentary rocks, and as the lower and middle 
course of the Koi-kaf valley is likewise enclosed 
by like materials, the granite would appear to occur 
in this valley in the form of a " stock." 

Possibly these granite masses may also be 
connected in some way with those, observed in 
the Sabavchy valley. But from all my researches 
it results that the Koi-kaf must be the large 
longitudinal valley I had been in search off which^ 

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bending round the Kayndy valky^ acquires in its 
upper course a considerabk breadth^ and there 
contains a glacier, which must be about as extensive 
as that of the Inylchek. 

From all the observations made, both on the 
ncNTth and the south side, I must also conclude 
that the southern bounding range of this large 
longitudinal vaUey is also connected at or some- 
where near the Peak Nicholas Mikhailovich with 
the main range. Unfortunately, the un&vourable 
c<Hiditions prevented me from acquiring greater 
certainty on the structure of this part of the 
Central Tian-Shan, and a gap consequently still 
remains in my knowledge of the actual relations. 
On our return to the chief camp in the Uch- 
shat valley, fierce snowstorms set in and also 
accompanied us on our return to the Kajrndy 
valley, which was now surveyed for another 
stretch of about ten miles (fifteen versts) to 
its junction with the Sary-jass. On this route, 
as well as diuing our course through the 
Sary-jass valley up to the confluence of the 
Inylchek and throughout the entire length of 
this valley up to the Tys-ashu pass, our observa- 
tions were unfortunately greatly impaired by the 
cloudy weather and by the thick mantle of fresh 
snow shrouding the heights. 

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The ranges skirting the Kayndy valley fall 
gradually towards the channel of the Sary-jass, 
which intersects them transversely. Nevertheless, 
the architecture of their crests presents a rugged 
aspect and is serrated by deep gaps. The remark- 
'able tendency of the southern border-range to 
resolve itself into transverse ridges, running north- 
west and south-east, already mentioned (p. 228, 225), 
which is in sharp contrast to the generally ruling 
direction of strike, could here also be observed. 
For some distance the valley is blocked by vast 
accumulated masses of fluvio-glacial drift, through 
which the river cuts its way in a narrow gorge. 
Farther down the valley these masses of drift take 
the form of long terraces. Here the evidences 
of the ice age are specially conspicuous. Granite 
blocks of enormous size rest on the top of these 
terraces, though granite does not enter in the 
structure of the surrounding walls. Green, grau- 
wacke-like sandstones, limestones, and phyllitic 
schists form the encircling walls, along which are 
deposited great quantities of conglomerates on 
both sides of the valley. 


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Where the Saiy-jass is joined by the Kayndy, 
the bed of this river not being foidable, the way- 
£uer is compelled to scale the steep scarp of the 
left bank, here about 400 ft. (120 m.) high. It pro- 
jects like a headland in the angle, formed by the 
jmiction of the tributary with the main stream, a 
fine prospect of which is commanded from these 
heights. Facing northwards, we first behold the 
sinuous contours of the crests of the Kulu-Tau, 
and Sary-jass-Tau, between which the stream in 
its norih to south course winds along in an inac- 
cessible gorge until it breaks out into a wide open 
valley a little above the confluence of the Inylchek. 
The valley now assumes a general south-south-west 
trend, and has an average breadth of a mile, and 
a mile and a quarter at its widest part After a 
course of about ten and a half miles (sixteen 
versts), it again turns south and even south-south- 
east, and once more contracts to a narrow gorge 
as it forces its way through the Ishigart-Tau range. 
Here the stream again disappears between the 
projecting and retreating angles of the shifting 
mountain curtains. It does not reappear until it 
once more breaks through the narrows as the 
Kum-aryk, on the southern slope of the Tian-Shan 
{vide p. 148). 

On its open course the main stream is joined 
from the east by the Kajmdy (confluence about 
7,900 ft. ; 2,400 m.), and eight miles (twelve versts) 
farther up by the Inylchek (confluence 8,500 ft. ; 
2,600 m.). On the west side it is joined, nearly 
at the same level as the Kayndy, by the Uch- 

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kul,^ which also flows from a longitudinal valley, 
in its upper course called Yir-tash, on the source 
of which I have reported, p. 178, and two miles 
(three versts) below the confluence of the Inylchek 
by the Terek-ty. This river likewise discharges 
from a longitudinal valley, but, despite its im- 
portance, is, strange to say, entered in none of 
the maps. 

The enclosing waUs of the Sary-jass valley, as 
long as its course is open, consist on both sides 
of walls only about 2,000 ft. (600 m.) high, 
the ranges through which the river here cuts 
transversely being much depressed towards the 
channel. They consist of black, slabby, dense and 
unfossiliferous limestones, which have a N. by 
20° E. strike, falling to 40° S.E., and on both 
banks show the same stratigraphic relations. 

On the right bank at the foot of these ram- 
parts are three excellently preserved longitudinal 
terraces, developed in the masses of drift about 
180 or 160 ft. one above the other, and all of 
considerable breadth with perfectly level surfaces. 
On the left side, on the contrary, the river 
approaches very near to the mountain side, and 
flows between the steep scarp of the lowest 
terrace of the right side, and the equally steep 
slope of the terrace (about 160 ft. high) which 

' The lower conrse of this river^ eastward of the confluence of its 
tributary Orto-uch-kul^ joining from norths is called Uch-kul. West of 
this confluence^ it bears the name Yir-tash. This I was informed by 
the Khirgiz^ sojourning in the Kyandy valley^ opposite the mouth of 
Uch-kul^ and also by those^ camping on the Syrt plateau close to the 
bead waters of Yir-tash. 

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extends only as a narrow belt along the rocky 
wall of the left bank. Here the river occupies 
a bed some 280 ft. (70 m.) wide, which — at 
least, when I traversed the valley — ^was completely 
flooded by the stream. This narrow terrace soon 
disappears altogether, and in order to reach the 
mouth of the Inylchek we had to pass along narrow 
ledges of the rocky wall some 500 ft. (150 m.) 
above the foaming torrent. Here, on narrow pro- 
jecting terraces and cornices of the limestone cliffs, 
I saw the remains of boulder drift containing large 
blocks of granite, and on other still more elevated 
ledges and recesses I observed stratified beds of 
gravel and sand sixteen inches (forty centimetres) 
thick, well preserved indications of the changes 
of level that have here taken place. 

In the Mitteilungen of the Imp. Royal 
Geograph. Soc. of Vienna, vol. xlix. 1901, Dr. 
G. von Almassy has suggested the possibility, 
that the waters of the Sary-jass, at that time pent 
up as a large lake, may have formerly flowed 
over the watershed of the Mjm-tjrr-Syrt away to 
the north, and were only later deflected to their 
southern course, when the northern outlet was 
made impossible by upheavals. Here I will not 
discuss the question of the former existence of a 
lake, having the compass assigned to it by Dr. 
von Almassy; nor will I positively deny the 
possibility of the northern outflow being shifted, 
for instance, by ice, or accumulated deposits of 
drift. It must, however, be pointed out, that the 
profile of the Kok-jar valley does not at all 

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suggest that at one time such a potent volume 
of water, as would accord with the size of the 
former Sary-jass, was really discharged through 
this channel And we should still have to ask, if 
the present channel of Sary-jass at that time did 
not exist, what was the course then taken by 
the large affluents of the Sary-jass — Inylchek, 
Kajmdy, Koi-kaf, etc. — of which the Inylchek alone 
is more copious than the main stream ? West- 
wards to the Naryn basin ? Considering the con- 
formation and relief of the local mountain system, 
such an outlet is scarcely conceivable. Besides, 
what could have caused these rivers to be deflected 
altogether fix)m their east to west to an almost 
southerly course? Lastly, we should have to 
consider the weighty circumstance that the moun- 
tain ranges, which flank the east and west tributaries 
of the Sary-jass along their course, all slope quite 
gradually, but still very considerably, towards the 
furrow of this river {vide pp. 287, 289), while no great 
significance can be attached to the presence of a 
lofty summit, rising at the east end of the Kulu- 
Tau. So much for the present on this interesting 
question, to which I shall return in the detailed 

The section jfrom the confluence of the Inylchek 
to the Tys-ashu pass is about forty-two miles 
(sixty-three versts) long, so that we may estimate 
the length of the whole valley up to the head 
of the glacier at some ninety miles (185 versts), in- 
cluding the windings. In the lower course the 
average breadth of the valley is one mile, but here 


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basin-shaped expanses, up to a width of two miles 
(three versts), alternate with' contracted beds no 
more than 650 ft. (200 m.) or even 500 ft. 
(150 m.) wide at the ah'eady-described ancient 
barrier {vide p. 68) — the last remains of the lime- 
stone cliffs, which represent the remnants of the 
coUapsed over-arching strata, not yet swept away 
by the current. The incline is extremely gentle, 
scarcely more than thirty-five feet per mile 
(six metres per verst), and the ranges skirting 
the lower course have decreased very consider- 
ably in height. Nor, in the region of theu* 
crests, do they any longer show any special 
developments or varied contours. The formation 
of summits is reduced to broad, dome-like pro- 
minences of the plateau-shaped surface, and 
glaciation is now slight. While the chain on the 
south bank is much diversified by little upland 
glens, whose openings stand high above the present 
level of the valley, the northern range presents 
an almost continuous rampart From the ob- 
servations I have already adduc^, it appears that 
in all these longitudinal valleys trending east and 
west, the same phenomenon is repeated : The 
northern slope, with its abundant snow and water, 
is greatly eroded; the slope facing south is dry, 
and to no appreciable extent ravined. The valley 
exhibits in general a steppe vegetation, though the 
herbage is abundant and in places very rich, while 
along the rocky walls of the southern range 
excellent Alpine meadows of great extent alternate 
with considerable stretches of pine forest. In the 

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lower valley also the old moraines have acquired 
a very important development They reach very 
high up the sides of the valley ; on their flat tops 
enormous blocks of granite, diabase, limestone and 
marble have been deposited. Here the constituent 
elements of the ranges are semi-crystalline lime- 
stones, sandstones, porphjrries and highly meta- 
morphosed schists of very diversified types. The 
results of marked lateral pressure are constantly 
observable in the series. Of old igneous rocks I 
was certainly able to notice granite and syenite in 
some places along the middle course of the valley, 
but as abeady stated {vide p. 286), my observations 
were impeded by the cloudy weather and the thick 
mantle of fi'esh snow on the heights. 

The great glacier was ah-eady veiled beneath a 
uniform covering of snow. Still, near the Tys-ashu 
pass I had the good luck to discover a coralliferous 
bed. I selected this pass also for the return, because 
it presents the shortest way to the northern slope. 
For the last time, he weather clearing up, I enjoyed 
from the summit M the pass the view of one of 
the grandest ranges in the world — an unbroken 
chain, over fifty miles (seventy-five versts) long, 
of wonderfully glaciated peaks, rising in solenm 
majesty with hard, steel-like contours into the 
cold, clear autunm air of the parting day.. 

The summer was drawing to a close, and renewed 
snowstorms might any day put a stop to my 
researches in the high regions. The Tys-ashu 
valley and its surroundings abeady (September 
12th) lay shrouded in a continuous sheet of snow 

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sixteen inches (forty centimetres) thick. In the 
Sary-jass valley only the lower part of the southern 
slopes was still free from snow. Crossing by 
the Myn-tjrr pass, the upper Kok-jar valley 
(Kuberganty), the Kapkak pass, and traversing 
the like-named valley, I again reached the Tekes 
valley. Great was my siu^rise and satisfaction 
to find here and in the transverse valleys, 
branching from the Tekes into the highlands, 
even the high groimds still free from snow, as 
well as a general temperature much higher than 
on the south side. 

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At once seizing the opportunity, I, for the third 
time, visited the Bayumkol, my object now being 
to replace the valuable photographic views, which 
had been lost the previous year in the waters 
of the Musart river. The work was effected 
without disturbance. From a summit about 
14,400 ft. (4,400 m.) high at the northern edge 
of the western glacier, as well as from a crag 
15,000 ft. (4,600 m.) high on the northern 
edge of the eastern glacier — clear autumn skies 
having succeeded a few stormy days — we were 
able to take a series of important telephotographic 
views, besides several panoramic ones, shedding 
light on the ramifications of the central crests, 
radiating from Mount Nicholas Mikhailovich. 
Special interest was presented by the view from 
the heights reached by me, showing the superb 
head of the Little Musart or Saikal valley, com- 
pletely buried in nevd and ice. But it was seen 
to be indispensable to traverse this valley, in order 
to verify its hitherto assumed connection with 
the main watershed. The scanty representations 
given on the forty- verst map in respect of this 


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and the neighbouring valleys stand in too violent 
antagonism to everything, that I had hitherto seen. 
Hence, the next task, that I proposed to myself, 
was a survey of this large transverse valley, which 
had not yet been visited by any explorer. 

The entrance to the Little Musart valley was 
reached fix)m the Narynkol Staniza (Okhotnichi) 
by a south-eastern route, six to six and a half 
miles (nine or ten versts) long, across the rich, 
grassy steppe of the Tekes plain. The river fed 
by the glaciers of the valley is One of the most 
copious mountain streams on the north side. It 
is difficult, at times impossible, to cross. It differs 
from many other Tian-Shan rivers in that, all the 
way up to its upper course there are no branches, 
but only a single artery everywhere. Large 
quantities of drift have been discharged fit>m 
the wide opening of its valley, about 6,900 ft. 
(2,100 m.) high, far into the Tekes plain, where 
they are disposed in thick terraces on both sides 
of the valley-mouth. In the valley itself they 
form a flight of three verdant steps, running for 
some distance parallel with the river-bank. Along 
the lower course the escarpments of the valley 
are formed of limestones, which are pierced by a 
porphyry zone one and a quarter miles wide. 
Owing to the extensive mantle of morainic 
detritus, overlying the escarpments, a large 
section of the vaUey presents for the most part 
soft, rounded forms. Excellent Alpine pastures, 
favourite wintering places of the Kalmuks, alter- 
nate with extensive stretches of dense pine-forest, 

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often interspersed with leafy growths (mountain- 
ashes, willows, etc.). The general aspect is almost 
that of a fine northern Alpine valley. 

Four and a half miles (seven versts) above its 
mouth the valley forks into two branches, — one, 
called the Uertenty, running south-south-east and 
south-east ; the other, the Saikal, stretching south- 
wards. To judge from the volume of water 
discha^ed by the two streams, the Saikal basin 
contains the more extensive glaciers. The level 
of the Uertenty valley lies at the forking, 180 ft. 
(40 m.) higher than that of the Saikal, here 
about 7,200 ft. (2,200 m.) high, down to which it 
falls abruptly. The lower course of the Uertenty 
has a ravine-like form, is densely timbered, and of 
difficult access. In its middle course the valley 
broadens out considerably, the bottom and slopes 
clothed with Alpine meadows ; it there receives 
numerous affluents, which, in the cirque-like basins 
at their sources, harbour small glaciers, while the 
main valley, with a total length of about twenty- 
six and a half miles (forty versts), is filled for the 
last quarter of its course by a glacier about six and 
a half miles (ten versts) long. This is nourished 
by the nev^ of an already described (vide p. 15) 
plateau-like secluded mountain mass, encircled by 
lofty, many-peaked ranges, which stretches as a 
water-shed in the angle between the heads of the 
Saikal valley, of the Mukur-mutu valleys, and of 
the Dondukol valley, the largest affluent of the 
Great Musart river {vide pp. 88, 85). In this region, 
which once was in its whole extent covered by 

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ice, erosion has not carried the process of valley- 
carving very far, only high-l)dng valleys being 
excavated. Towards its head the highest glaciated 
trough of the Uertenty valley connects with that 
of the east branch of the Saikal vaUey, of which 
more anon. 

A little beyond the forking the Saikal contracts 
to a ravine, averaging a hundred feet (thirty 
metres), and in places not more than thirty feet 
(ten metres), in width. Here the steep limestone 
walls are occupied to a great height by many 
thousands of dead pine-trees, the result of a forest 
fire. Great numbers have fallen down, thus further 
obstructing the copious current in the narrows, 
where it was already impeded by large boulders. 
Hence this caflon, fix)m three to four miles (five to 
six versts) long, is very difficult to traverse, and 
quite impassable in spring and summer, as at these 
seasons the narrow channel is flooded house-high 
by the melting snows. In this deep gorge the 
air is stagnant, oppressive, and the decaying, ex- 
uberant vegetation, growing in all the cavities and 
on the ledges of the cliffs produces a stifling 
atmosphere. At the upper outlet of the gorge the 
valley gradually broadens out to a considerable 
extent. A picturesque aspect is there imparted 
to the valley by the extensive old morainic deposits 
of the main stream, with those carried down by 
the numerous lateral rivers, all much intersected by 
erosion channels and carpeted with beautiftil Alpine 
meadows, dense pine-woods of great extent, and 
a quite luxuriant bush vegetation. The lateral 

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valleys are for the most part narrow glens, which, 
farther back, expand to glacier-filled cirques. 
Limestone still forms the enclosing ramparts, 
which, in the parting- wall between the Saikal and 
the Bayumkol, assume the form of an abrupt 
serrated crest, set with small glaciers. This wall 
is pierced about sixteen miles (twenty-five versts) 
above the forking of the river by a broad, glacier- 
bearing valley, at whose head a high pass leads to 
the Alai-aigyr, an affluent of the Bayumkol which 
has already been referred to (p. 27). From this 
point gneiss begins to form the escarpments of the 
valley and reaches nearly to its head, often passing 
into granite, and this again into gneiss. Owing 
to the but slightly inclined bedding of the gneiss 
(averaging about 40*^), the contour lines of the crests 
seldom exhibit rugged forms or deep indentations. 

Some twenty miles (thirty versts) beyond the 
forking of the valley, it is joined on the 
(orographical) right side by the most copious and 
important of its affluents, which, in its many- 
branched course of about thirteen miles (twenty 
versts), leads to the high Saikal pass, giving access 
to the Uertenty valley. At the confluence of that 
lateral valley its old moraine drifts have been 
heaped up on an earlier terminal moraine deposited 
by the retreating glacier of the main valley. 
Behind this elevated barrage the waters of the 
Saikal were once damned up into a large lake a 
mile wide. The (orographical) left side of this 
basin is joined by a steep glaciated valley, some 
ten miles (fifteen versts) long, which ramifies at 

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its head into two branches, one coming from the 
south, the other fit)m the south-west. One of 
these has its source on the nev^ saddle of the 
eastern Ba3rumkol glacier, where our high camp 
had stood the previous year, while the other 
takes its rise in a glacier basin, lying to the 
north of it. 

Towards its head the Saikal valley, altogether 
about thirty miles (forty-five versts) long, is 
divided by old terminal moraine walls, piled up 
by the periodically retreating glacier, into several 
round level tracks, on whose gravelly flats the 
river, hitherto confined to a single bed, now 
ramifies. The clumps of pines, standing on the 
old moraines, which rise in terraces one behind 
the other, contrast sharply with the dazzling white 
of the completely ice-clad cliffs, which here enclose 
a broad cirque and apparently form the head 
of the valley. At the foot of these imusually 
torn and tossed ice- walls, rising into superb peaks 
some 8,200 ft. (2,500 m.) above the valley 
level (itself about 10,000 ft.; 8,000 m.), the 
picturesquely crevassed glacier, completely free of 
debris, bursts out like a cataract and, aft^r a short 
course down the valley, ends at the altitude of 
9,700 ft. (2,950 m.) in a terminal ice wall 160 ft. 
(50 m.) high. The glacier tongue is fringed on 
the left by a dark belt of scrubby vegetation. 
Not till he approaches the wall on the (orographic) 
right bank, does the observer perceive that the 
valley again bends round to the east-south-east, 
and that the glaciated walls, which really enclose 

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the head of the valley, and are similar to, but 
1,800 or 1,600 ft. (400 or 500 m.) lower than, 
those just described, lie some miles farther on in 
that direction. In order to reach this uppermost 
cirque a barrier of old morainic boulders, about a 
quarter of a mile broad, has to be surmounted. 
Then, by a steep descent, we reach an oblong 
basin which is from 2,000 to 2,800 ft. (600—700 m.) 
long, and 1,800 to 1,600 ft. (400—500 m.) broad, 
being enclosed on three sides by glaciated walls, 
and on the fourth blocked by the above-mentioned 
morainic deposit. Through this barrier the river 
cuts its way in a narrow canon, beyond which 
it ramifies over a tract perfectly levelled by the 
fine limestone and schistose drift deposited on it. 
Here, also, the ramparts, enclosing the head of the 
valley are composed of limestone, marble, and dark 
clay-schists; they do not belong to the main 
central range, but to a chain running parallel with 
it, which forms the northern wall of the large 
glacial valley, that stretches fix)m Mount Nicholas 
Mikhailovich towards the Musart pass, and was 
discovered by us the year before (vide p. 82 et seq.). 
At its east end the above-described basin is 
joined at the level of the valley (about 10,000 ft. ; 
8,100 m.) by the tongue of a large glacier, which 
emerges from a breach in the ramparts, and fills 
the bed of a rather narrow valley, about thirteen 
miles (twenty versts) long, coming from the east- 
south-east It has its source on the same elevated 
plateau-like mountain mass as the Uertenty valley, 
encircles in its bending course the uppermost 

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nev^ basin of this valley, and at its head joins 
that of the Dondukol valley. From the plateau 
several smaller glaciers descend at steep angles 
between snowy peaks to the main glacier. 

The Uertenty valley itself intersects another high 
valley, the Maralty, which, traversing the above- 
mentioned plateau latitudinally, debouches in the 
Dondukol {vide p. 17). If that long glacier really 
be regarded as a branch, or as the highest source, 
of the Saikal, for its waters are drained by this 
stream, then the Saikal valley will have a total 
length of about forty-three miles (sixty-five versts). 
The existence of such extensive glaciers in this 
part of the Tian-Shan was hitherto unknown. 

The elucidation of these intricate orographic 
relations could not, of course, be effected merely by 
traversing the Saikal valley. Not imtil we had 
scaled a snowy peak 14,800 ft. (4,500 m.) high, in 
the dividing wall between Saikal and Uertenty, was 
I able to get a clear insight into the relief of this 
section of the highlands, but here I succeeded in 
completing the observations, made from the heights 
in the eastern Bayumkol and in the Mukur-mutu 
district. As on the first ascent of the peak the at- 
mosphere became murky, it had to be repeated two 
days later. Telephotographic views, obtained from 
this eminence supplied soUd materials for these 
observations. The photographs, already taken from 
the Bayumkol valley eastwards, are now supple- 
mented by the panoramic photographs, looking 
westwards from the Saikal peak. As these opera- 
tions were later continued eastwards from elevated 

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standpoints at the head of the Mukur-mutu and 
of the Dondukol valleys, I have secured, for the 
whole tract from the Sary-jass to the Great 
Musart valley, an unbroken series of panoramas, 
representing the central highlands, and verifying 
each other. These will form an excellent com- 
plement to the topographical work, in which the 
details were obtained by photogranmfietry. Added 
to aU this are the special panoramas of the great 
mountain ranges, extending from the Sary-jass 
southwards to the Kayndy valley. 

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As I had been informed, that an Alpme lake^— 
such a rare phenomenon in the Central Tian-Shan 
— lay on the heights in the western scarp of the 
Saikal valley, I sought out this lake on our return. 
Shortly before the Saikal river enters its gorge- 
like narrows, a steep ascent of 500 ft (150 m.) 
to the west is made over the mountain slope 
covered with morainic debris, now overgrown with 
scrub and trees. Thus the heaped-up masses of 
erratic blocks of an old terminal moraine are 
reached, which cut off a lateral valley a quarter 
of a imle wide, running east to west. 

Beyond this barrier, in a deep rocky bed, — 
owing its origin in part to glacial corrasion — ^Ues a 
deep green mountain tarn, from 1,600 to 2,000 ft. 
(500 — 600 m.) long by 1,500 fL (850 m.) broad, 
at an altitude of about 8,000 ft. (2,450 m.). 
By the Kalmuks it is called Nura-nor, and by 
the Kirghiz Kara-koL The lacustrine basin is 
enclosed on the south by a steep mountain wall, 
overgrown far up with dense dark pine-woods, 
and on the north side by a similar rampart, but 
crowned with Alpine meadows and falling with 


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a steep rocky declivity (phyllites), some 200 ft. 
(60 m.) high, down to the water's edge. 

In the west a gully slopes steeply four mUes 
up to the dividing ridge, beyond which lies the 
Narynkol valley. Through this gully a copious, 
limpid mountain stream flows between wooded 
and densely copse-clad banks, tumbling over little 
caseades down to the lake. Snowy, rocky emi- 
nences rise above the encircling ramparts on this 
side, and beyond the narrow glen of the Saikal 
river, and are mirrored in the deep-green waters 
of the lakelet. 

It is a somewhat stem, but thoroughly Alpine 
lacustrine picture, such as is amongst the rarest 
spectacles to be seen in the Tian-Shan highlands. 
Through the upland valley, now watered by the 
streamlet, there formerly descended the glacier, 
which corraded the lacustrine basin in the easily 
destructible phyllitic strata, and in its retreat 
heaped up the moraine wall, after the retreat of 
the large glacier which once filled the Saikal 
valley, and which was formerly joined by this 
lateral glacier. The lake has no visible outlet ; 
but the copious springs, welling up farther down 
in the bed of the Saikal valley, may probably 
be fed by its underground discharge. While 
the shores of the lake are elsewhere steep and 
rocky, the affluent has developed, on the west side, 
a smaU, flat, sandy delta. The high-water marks 
on the rocky banks stand about eight feet above 
the surface. That these marks only indicate the 
high-water level in spring, when the inflow is 

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greater than the outflow, is shown by the traces 
of the rippUngs in the loose sand of the western 
margin, which stand at the same level and had 
not yet been obliterated. Hence the lake would 
appear not to have yet entered on its period 
of shrinkage. Surmounting the steep slope on 
the north side, which is clothed with a growth 
of unusually tall and dense grasses greatly im- 
peding the passage, I climbed up a steep ridge, 
10,500 ft. (8,200 m.) high. Here I enjoyed an 
instructive prospect of the ranges, skirting the 
Little Musart vaUey. Just facing me towards the 
south was the lofty, fine snowpeak, which towers 
above the dividing ridges between the Nar3mkol 
and Ba3rumkol valleys, and, greatly overtopping 
its siuToundings, serves by its bold formation as 
the landmark of our Narynkol station. 

The altitude of the ridge I ascended coincides 
with the upper limit of the pine- woods on all the 
neighbouring mountain slopes. Proceeding north- 
eastwards a little beneath and along the crest of 
the range, and then descending a steep incline, I 
reached the well- wooded Buraty valley, which joins 
the Little Musart much farther down, and so from 
thence got back to the Narynkol station. 

Meanwhile, I received information of the 
existence of three other mountain lakes, which, 
as I was told, lay between the middle Bayumkol 
and the Kapkak valleys. Such flooded basins, 
which were formerly so very numerous, but have 
now become so rare, in the Tian-Shan, present 
peculiar interest in respect of the history both of 

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glaciation and of valley formation in the Tian- 
Shan, the two phenomena, to which I had paid 
special attention dming this expedition. I was, 
therefore, now induced to visit these upland lakes 
also, and by their means to examine whether the 
inferences, drawn from my previous observations, 
were vahd. 

The middle Bayumkol valley, where it changes 
its southern for an east-south-eastern course, and 
a little before its second great basin-shaped en- 
largement, receives on its (orographical) left bank 
the copious Ak-kul stream, whose valley at the 
confluence is about 800 feet wide and densely 
wooded to a great height by pine-trees. Fluvio- 
glacial drift-beds extend from its mouth into the 
main valley in the shape of terraces, which also 
follow the course of the stream for some miles 
up its valley. This runs at first south-east, then 
south and south-west, though the trend of the 
main axis is south-south-west, following the strike 
of the granites, which form escarpments along the 
whole length of the valley (thirteen miles ; twenty 
versts). At the entrance of the valley the granite 
is stratified and greatly dislocated. After two 
and a half miles (four versts) the valley begins 
to contract, and after three and a quarter miles 
(five versts) has a width of only 160 ft. (50 m.) 
Here I established my camp in the middle of an 
extremely dense pine- wood (8,500 ft. ; 2,600 m.), 
and ascended the valley, near the head of which 
stands Lake Ak-kul. The bed of the river slopes 
rapidly, and both banks, throughout the whole 


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length of its course, abound in copious springs, more 
numerous than I had yet noticed in any Tian-Shan 
valley. To these springs, rising in the dislocated 
granites and not to the overflow from the lake, the 
river is indebted for its great volume of water. 
The granite escarpments are covered up to a con- 
siderable height with drift, on which flourish much 
timber, brush, and rich Alpine grass. Glacial 
polishing may be observed high up the rocky 
escarpments. Where the valley again acquires a 
considerable expansion it is blocked across its entire 
breadth by an enormous wall of morainic blocks, 
whose level top coincides with the limit of forest 
vegetation (about 10,000 ft; 8,000 m.). Beyond 
this barrier the bed of the valley is but slightly 
inclined. Here the traveller passes continually 
over groimd strewn with drift;, between old verdant 
lateral moraines, and reaches the swampy green 
floors of basin-shaped expanses, which were 
formerly filled by Alpine lakes. The profile of 
the valley and the relief of the deposits on its bed 
are typical of a valley, shaped by glacial agency. 
Of the moraine ridges, which lie between the 
several lacustrine basins and formerly intersected 
them, only a few slight remains are still visible. 

At last I reached the foot of a huge morainic 
rampart of blocks, which bars the valley and 
extends for a stretch of about one and a quarter 
miles (two versts) along it. Immediately beyond 
lies the lake Ak-kul, flooding the bed of a former 
glacier, which was derived fix)m the cirque-like 
heads (Kare) of the two feeders, now free from 

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ice, one flowing from the south-east, the other 
from the south-west. 

Shortly before reaching the lake basin these 
valleys cease to fall at a steep incline, and uniting, 
open into the valley at the level of the bed of 
the lake. The course of the now verdant old 
ground-moraines in the two feeders, as well as 
the lines of the lateral moraines, may still be 
quite clearly followed. An irregular form was 
imparted to the lake, partly by the bending of 
the valley just below the jimction of the two 
feeders, and partly frx)m the great quantity of drift 
added to the terminal moraine by an extensive 
glacier, which formerly joined it from the east, so 
that here the masses of erratic blocks, projecting 
like bluffs, were thrust forward into the basin. 
Nevertheless, its average length may be estimated 
at 1,800 ft. (400 m.), and its breadth at 600 ft. 
It stands 11,000 ft. (8,850 m.) above sea-level. 

The quantities of detritus, brought down in the 
streams from the head valleys, have already filled 
up the lake basin to such an extent, that not more 
than half of it is now under water, and that is 
only shallow. From the quantity of argillaceous 
particles held in solution, the water has acquired 
a milky grey- white colour, whence its name Ak- 
kul, "White Lake.'' The history of this lake, 
which has now entered on the last phase of its 
existence, is typical of that of hundreds of other 
much more extensive bodies of water formerly 
enclosed in the Tian-Shan valleys. During the 
spring months the basin, as the Kirghiz informed 

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me, appears to be still aimually flooded twelve ch" 
sixteen feet above its present level by the melting 
of the winter snows. I found a confirmation of 
this report in the blocks of the morainic wall on 
the shores of the lake, which were coated up to 
that level with a fine grey-white clay sedim^it, 
that was found to be still soft The overflow of 
the lake finds an outlet under the wall of erratic 
blocks, at the outer base of which it reappears as 
a small rivulet Of the feeders of the Ak-kul, 
that on the east rises on a ridge, over which a 
pass leads to the Ashu-tyr valley ; the westan on 
a similar ridge, by crossing which the Kapkak 
valley is reached. 

In a valley, intervening between the Ak-kul 
and the Ashu-tjrr, lies the lake Yashik-kul, which 
I did not visit I was, however, informed by 
the Kirghiz that it had been more filled up by 
deposits than the Ak-kul. 

On the other hand, its full volume of water is 
still preserved by the lake Kara-kul-say, lying 
in the uppermost basin of the very important 
lateral Kara-kul-say valley, which joins the Kapkak 
from the south-east This lateral valley is almost 
as large as the main valley, and nourishes a like 
wealth of Alpine meadows and woodlands. I 
reached it by penetrating west-south-westwards 
into the Yar-kasn-say, a side- valley of the Ak-kul ; 
then, tiumng near its head to the west-north-west 
and simnounting a ridge 12,000 ft (3,700 m.) high, 
the upper course of the Kara-kul-say was reached 
at an altitude of 7,700 ft (2,850 m.). Profile 

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and general relief of this fine Alpine valley are 
likewise evidence of its having been shaped by 
glacial agency. A series of now vanished lakes 
may still be traced along its course, all of them 
owing their origin and their disappearance to the 
same causes as Lake Ak-kuL The valley has 
similarly been excavated in the granitic rocks, 
in which intruding diabase may here be observed. 
The lake is dammed by a wall of boulder drift 
over 800 ft. high, and its water has a deep 
greenish-black colour, which justifies its name 
of Kara-kul, " Black Lake." The basm is 2,800 ft. 
(850 m.) long by 1,800 ft (400 m.) broad, and 
stands at a level of about 11,000 ft (8,400 m.). 
Its regular oval form is varied only by two 
small inlets. The lake receives its chief affluent 
from a valley in the south-south-west, whence 
a now ice-free cirque or " Kar," enclosed by 
high rugged walls, once discharged a very con- 
siderable glacier, by which the flat lacustrine 
basin has been corraded in trough form between 
the granite walls. The operation was ftuthered 
by lateral glaciers, joining the main glacier fix)m 
transverse valleys. Judging fit>m the watermarks 
on the shore, the spring level lies about twelve 
to sixteen feet above that of the autumn season. 
The filling-in process has not yet made much 
progress, and the sheet of water is still of im- 
posing extent The lake, which, as I was informed, 
teems with fish, is not without romantic charm, 
but lacks the animating grace of woodlands and 
of conspicuous moimtain forms in its environment. 

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Here, also, the overflow finds an outlet beneath 
the masses of morainic drift damming up the lake. 

While I was occupied with the investigation of 
these lakes I sent the Tyrolese, Kostner, to the 
Mukur-mutu valleys, in order to replace the 
photographic views, which had been taken there 
the previous year and afterwards lost in the Musart 
river. He had also instructions to keep an open 
eye again for the fossiliferous beds of that district. 
Although these limestones, so rich in fossils, had 
been highly metamorphosed by direct contact with 
the granites, and the fossils crushed beyond recog- 
nition — (see my previous reports, p. IG et seq.) 
he had nevertheless the good luck to discover a 
bed, from which we were able to extract a lower 
carboniferous fauna, that could still be identified. 

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Continuous fine weather promising still to favour 
my explorations, I now tmmed to the important 
but hitherto imknown lateral valleys of the 
northern Great Musart river. It was of great 
importance for the completion of my topographic 
work, that the connection should be ascertained 
between these valleys and the huge glaciated 
ranges, branching off eastwards from Mount 
Nicholas Mikhailovich. My attention had already, 
in the previous year, been drawn (see p. 88, 85) to 
the Dondukol valley, which joins the Great 
Musart four and a half miles (seven versts) above 
its outlet into the Tekes plain, ten miles (fifteen 
versts) above its confluence with the Tekes. I 
was attracted not only by the picturesque charm 
of the wooded moimtains encircling the confluence, 
but mainly by the large volume of water, sent 
by its overflow down to the Musart river. As this 
stream is almost as copious as the main river, 
the inference was, that a large glacier must be 
harboured in the valley, the existence of which 
was still unknown. 

From my headquarters in the Narynkol Staniza, 


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an easy day*s march (about twenty-six miles ; forty 
versts) brought me to the entrance of the Don- 
dukol valley, from whose broad opening verdant 
fluvio-glacial terraces of great extent stretch far 
out, and meet similar deposits, drifted from the 
main valley, at an obtuse angle; retrogressive 
formation of longitudinal terraces is the conse- 
quence. The choicest grazing-groimds of the 
Kalmuks are found on the broad levels of these 
terraces. Just beyond its debouchure (about 
6,700 ft. ; 2,050 m.) the valley contracts to 200 ft 
60 m.), and is overgrown with very dense pine- 
woods, reaching far up the mountain slopes. 
Terraces of glacial drift accompany its course for a 
few miles, to where it narrows to a cafion thirty to 
forty, and in places only twenty feet wide. The 
passage of this cafion, which has a length of four 
miles (six versts), is difficult, and possible only at 
this advanced season of the year. Even now in 
the late autumn a considerable stream of swirling 
water still rushed through this gloomy canon, 
which is strewn with rock-fi^gments, and inter- 
rupted by a waterfall disposed in three stages, each 
fifty to sixty feet high. Here, as in many other 
places, one has to force one's way through a 
wilderness of forest and boulders, over terraces in 
the rocky ramparts. In summer great volumes 
of water are discharged through the narrows, as 
is shown by the marks on the cliflfs fourteen feet 
above the autumn level. Then the Kalmuks, 
in order to reach the excellent pastures on the 
upper course of the Dondukol, are obliged to 

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make a long round with their flocks through 
the Mukur-mutu valleys and the Maralty valley, 
crossing two lofty ridges on the way. The Kalmuk 
hunters also choose this way in the early part of 
the year, when they go to stalk the ManJ-deer, 
which is so eagerly sought for the sake of its 
costly antlers, and still abounds in the dense 
woods of the Dondukol valley. 

The axis of the valley has a general southerly 
trend, but is deflected both to the east and west, 
and at its head decidedly to the east. The 
mountain formations consist for the most part 
of an extensive horizon of green phyUitic schists 
of diverse character, often resembling grauwacke 
schists, oft;en Aphanites. Between them occur 
zones of crystalline limestones, beyond which 
immediately follow gneiss and gneiss-granite, then 
granites of diverse structure, and limestones, more 
or less crystallised or else transformed to schists, 
also true marbles, a series, between which diabasic 
rocks are found embedded. The whole stratified 
system has a nearly east to west strike, varied 
with slight deviations to the south or north, with 
a very steep dip of 60 — 70°. Hence the ascent 
of a lofty summit by a long track over a crest, 
gave nie a welcome opportunity to follow more 
accurately the changes in the strata along this 
trend, and to collect specimens of the whole series. 
The shingle, however, in the mountain stream 
already pointed in the middle course of the valley 
more and more to the fact, that in this, as in 
the other transverse northern valleys, the highest 

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range, enclosing the head of the valley, is composed 
exclusively of sedimentary rocks : more or less 
metamorphosed clay schists, and limestones, to- 
gether with marble. 

Scarcely has this romantic gorge again broadened 
out, when the valley thus formed is blocked by an 
enormous land-slip, which fills it up for a length 
of over a mile, to a height of over 800 ft. above 
the level of the valley (about 7,800 ft. ; 2,840 m.). 
The debris consists exclusively of green phyllitic 
rock and of diabase, which have crashed down 
from both sides, but especially from the left 
escarpment. A track of difficult access for pack- 
animals leads over this tremendous bar, beyond 
which the river was once dammed up in a lake one 
and a quarter miles long, with an average breadth 
of 500 ft (150 m.), until it succeeded in finding 
an outlet under the barrier. Presumably it had 
regained its old bed. For nearly its whole course 
the slopes of the valley are overgrown with the 
finest, densest, and most continuous pine-woods, 
that I have anywhere seen in the Tian-Shan. 
Moreover, owing to the above-mentioned steep 
disposition of the strata, the crests of the ranges 
along its banks are much torn, deeply indented, 
and carved into a series of rugged peaks, diversely 
outlined and adorned with glaciers, even the 
slopes themselves often appearing broken up in 
a chaos of pinnacles and cliffs. Lastly, the copious, 
limpid mountain stream, the smiling Alpine meads, 
the numerous clusters of tall bushy growths, all 
lend a special charm to this valley, which thus 

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ranks amongst the most picturesque in the Tian- 
Shan uplands. 

Wherever the valley broadens out, unmistak- 
able traces have been preserved of its former 
extensive glaciation in the relief of its surface 
and in the masses of old morainic drift, reaching 
high up along the escarpments. It is joined only 
by one considerable lateral affluent, and that on 
the (orographic) right bank. About the confluence, 
also, there occur high verdant ridges of old morainic 
drift. But all the other affluents of the main 
stream descend, not from valleys in the true sense 
of the word, but from upland ravines, densely 

Some seventeen miles (twenty-six versts) farther 
up, the valley is again blocked by an old terminal 
moraine about a mile wide, through which the 
river forces its way in a caflon-like defile. Beyond 
this moraine the valley, rising generally with a 
very sUght incline, is nothing more than a flat 
bed of glacial drift from 600 to 1,000 ft. (200— 
800 m.), and at its head from 1,000 to 1,800 ft. 
(800 — 400 m.) wide. Here the left scarp is 
rent into a number of rugged summits with fine 
intervening glaciers. Of these peaks, the highest 
closes with its west flank the Uertenty valley, 
ascending from the north-west (see pp. 15, 17, 247). 

After about twenty-three miles (thirty-five versts) 
we reached the foot of the range, which closes 
the valley and forms a semicircular rampart, rising 
over 6,500 ft. (2,000 m.) above its level (about 
9,850 ft. ; 2,850 m.), and is completely buried 

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under nev^ and ice. From its slopes descend 
steep glaciers directly to the flat, gravelly bed of 
the valley, which expands in the form of a cirque, 
The head of the valley shows a great resemblance 
to that of the Bayumkol, ramifying, like it, into 
two glacier valleys, one of which trends east, 
the other west, the western being the longer, the 
eastern the richer in varied forms, just as in the 
Bayumkol. The length of the western glacier, 
which descends in a narrow, moderately inclined 
valley, I estimate at from three to four miles. 
Its head is closed by a flat nevd ridge with a 
saddle, the direction of which points towards the 
easterly, uppermost Saikal valley (vide p. 252). All 
along its northern edge this glacier is skirted by 
a mountain wall, which is clothed in verdure 
nearly up to its rugged crest, while along its foot 
stretches a belt of brushwood interspersed with 
pine-trees. Still more surprising is the height, to 
which the forest reaches along the ice of the 
middle glacier. Here, immediately in front of 
the rugged glacial walls, a ridge, completely buried 
under morainic drift, attains some 1,000 ft (800 m.) 
above the level of the valley. This ridge is 
covered with grass and scrub right to the top, 
and up to two-thirds of its height with pine- 
forest, which consequently penetrates several 
hundred feet up into the zone of ice. The 
grandest object at the head of the valley is the 
branching eastern glacier. Here stands a group 
of extremely rugged and richly glaciated rocky 
peaks, with some snowy summits, flanking a deeply 

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notched gap, over which access is afforded to the 
head of the Khamer-davan {vide p. 86), the next 
great tributary of the Musart valley. This valley 
owes its name to a deep col, which is flanked by a 
nose-sh^ed, jagged crag (Khamer-davan = " Nose 
pass "). The rampart closing the Dondukol valley 
does not belong to the main watershed, but, like 
that of the Saikal valley, forms a part of the 
northern bordering range of the great glacier valley, 
trending east from Mount Nicholas Mikailovich. 

In order to get a clear grasp of all these rela- 
tions, and especially of the course of the last-men- 
tioned valley, I ascended a peak (about 18,000 ft ; 
4,000 m.), situated in the range on the right 
bank of the DondukoL It was reached over a 
verdant pass (about 11,000 ft ; 8,300 m.), which 
gives access to the Great Musart valley. One 
might gain this valley near the second Chinese 
post I have already mentioned that, by making 
a day's excursion along this crest, I foimd an oppor- 
tunity of collecting specimens of the whole series 
of strata in the eastern range skirting the valley. 
Moreover, from this elevation, we were able to 
secure telephotographic views of the chain, branch- 
ing eastward from Moimt Nicholas Mikhailovich, 
and of Khan-Tengri, towering up beyond it 
But the finest part of the prospect and the most 
important section of the highlands photographed, 
were the superb, many-peaked ranges east of the 
Musart pass, which encircle the upper Ak-su and 
Agiass valleys. 

My intention was to ascend yet another peak 

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in the western scarp of the valley, m order from 
the nearest point to sketch the connection of the 
Dondukol, Uertenty and Saikal valleys. But 
the verdant parts of the steep slope were found 
to be already frozen so hard, that we could no 
longer secure a footing with our worn-out mountain 
boots, and the climbing-irons were not at hand. 
Moreover, despite the sunny hours of daylight, 
the frost had grown so mtense that we were 
no longer able, in spite of all our wrappings, 
to keep ourselves warm at night in our thin 
moimtain tents. It was now the end of October, 
and further residence in the upland valleys was 
growing daily more impossible. For these reasons 
I had, to my great regret, to abandon the explora- 
tion of the next large lateral valley, the Khamer- 
davan, as well as the proposed visit to the large 
glacier valley, branching east from Moimt Nicholas 
Mikhailovich, both of which were very important 
for the completion of the observations hitherto 
carried out Many things, which might have been 
placed beyond doubt by that visit, had consequently 
to remain mere assumptions based on probabilities. 
I now confined myself to a ride up the Great 
Musart valley as far as the confluence of the 
KJiamer-davan, because a sketch-survey of this 
tract was needed for the completion of my surveys, 
and because I wanted to follow up some geological 
observations, interrupted the previous year. 

From the mouth of the Khamer-davan (about 
8,000 ft. ; 2,400 m.) project some very extensive 
moraines, whose form has been very well pre- 

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served. Their junction with an old terminal 
moraine of the main glacier, which is several miles 
wide (see p. 86), lends much variety to the relief 
of the valley-bottom. The ranges boimding the 
Khamar-davan, ice-clad even from the entrance of 
the valley, as well as the volume of the stream, 
still copious at this late and dry season of the 
year, point to a considerable reservoir of glacier 
ice and nev^, stiU stored up in this valley. Indeed, 
the Kalmuks, who visit it with their flocks in 
sunmier, spoke to me of extensive glaciers. 

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And thus my exploraticms in the highlands were 
brought to a close. My next business was to 
pack up the collections in Narynkol and forward 
them over the San-tash pass, before the snows had 
made it impassable. I proposed to return by way 
of Kulja, as I wanted to rev-isit and exploit the 
fossiliferous limestcme beds, which I had discovered 
ten years before in the Temurlik-Tau, in the 
Khonokhai \^ey, the soiure of the Jijen. I also 
hoped, on my way down the Tekes valley, to 
be able to secure another comprehensive tele- 
panoramic view of the whole of the gigantic Tian- 
Shan ranges, stretching between Ehan-Tengri and 
the Karagai-tash pass. Unfortunately, however, 
on this route the fickle weather played me £alse. 
The highlands were mostly veiled in autumn fogs, 
though 'tis true they arrived this year a month 
later than usual. Hence but little could be done. 
As the mists occasionally lifted, 1 was once more 
struck by the mighty forms of the peaks, towering 
up in this UtUe-laiown section of the great range, 
and at the. profusion of nev^ and glaciers. In this 
respect all one's dreams are siu'passed especially 
by the ramparts of the two great longitudinal 


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Agiass and Kok-su valleys, which divide the 
mountain masses along nearly the whole of this 
stretch, and only in their lower course, suddenly 
bending round, take the direction of the transverse 
valleys and debouche into the Tekes. Here a 
broad, unploughed field still lies open to mountain 
exploration. No doubt the above-mentioned large 
valleys have in recent years been sometimes visited 
by English travellers, but exclusively as hunting- 
grounds, so that geography has profited nothing 
by these expeditions. 

During my way down the Tekes for about 
seventy miles my attention was also drawn to the 
contours of the large lakes, which formerly stretched 
along the northern slopes of the main chain. But 
I will reserve this subject for my detailed report 

As I drew near the point, where the Jijen river 
escapes from the mountains, I was surprised at the 
great alterations, made in the former modest little 
Sumba lamasery. The simple temple buildings, I 
had visited ten years previously, had disappeared. 
In their place, but a little higher up the mountain 
side, the monks had erected a very extensive 
establishment of several hundred neat dwellings, 
where from two to three hundred lamas are now 
comfortably housed. The monotonous arrange- 
ment of these block-houses is broken by agri- 
cultural buildings, huge towering hayricks, etc. 
In their midst rises a grand and spacious temple, 
surrounded by large courts, flanked by smaller 
shrines and elegant pavilions. The whole group, 
erected by Chinese workmen, is splendid, har- 


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moniously disposed and eflPective, careftilly and 
tastefidly carried out and painted in bright but 
not glaring colours — assuredly one of the most 
beautifid temples in the west of China. Every- 
thing is built of wood, except the platforms, on 
which stand the several temple structures and the 
monumental gates of the inner temple court, which 
are of burnt brick. Extensive woods were cleared 
away to provide the material for this spacious 
lamasery. The aged Da-Lama, who had given me 
such a hospitable welcome ten years before, had 
since died ; but his successor also showed himself 
obliging and considerate. He allowed me to 
photograph the temple inside and outside, and 
even showed me round everywhere himself. 

Unfortunately, the weather had turned quite 
bad. Winter had suddenly set in in all its 
severity, with heavy snowfalls and intense cold. 
The crossing of the Temurlik passes was no longer 
an easy matter. When I left the friendly lamasery 
(about 6,400 ft. ; 1,950 m.) on November 5th, in 
deep snow, and turned to the mountains, I almost 
gave up the hope of being able to collect any 
more fossils. Nevertheless, against all expectation, 
I had the good luck to secure a rich lower 
carboniferous fauna in the Khonokhai valley. 
Certainly the work was much impeded by the 
deep fresh snow, and under more favourable 
conditions the spoils would assuredly have been 
far richer. 

The Khonokhai pass, that I wanted to cross, was 
already blocked by snow, as were also the other 

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passes. The far longer way through the defiles of 
the Shateh pass (about 10,000 ft. ; 8,000 m.) was 
the only one now open to me. It was traversed 
amid incessant snowstorms under great hardships. 
To my regret I was no longer able to derive 
much profit from a district, which is interesting 
both geologically and for its charming scenery, and 
after two days' plodding, was fain to be satisfied 
with the knowledge, that my caravan had safely 
reached the Kalmuk station of Ukurchy (about 
4,600 ft; 1,400 m.), at the north foot of the 
highlands. Thence we made our way to Kainak 
(about 2,500 ft. ; 750 m.), on the lU plain, and 
on November 9th I entered Kulja. As a great 
part of my collections was still at Przhevalsk, 
where they would have to be re-packed before 
being sent on, there was nothing for it but to re- 
cross the mountains (Ketmen-Tau) from Jarkent, 
although the snows and ice had made the road 
almost impassable. Thanks solely to the inter- 
vention of Mr. Smirnoff, at the head of the 
Jarkent district, who summoned the Kirghiz to 
my aid, I was able to get through, and entered 
Tashkent at the beginning of December. 

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When I cast a glance back on the results of 
this long expedition, full of cares and hardships, 
I feel myself justified in declaring that it has 
not been carried out without benefit to science* 
When all the topographical surveys, made during 
the journey have been brought together in a 
single cartographic picture, the notions, hitherto 
entertained regarding the structure of the Central 
Tian-Shan, will be modified and completed in 
many respects. 

By the description, undertaken by Herr Keidel 
of the geological structure of the regions traversed 
by us, the new facts, already disclosed in this 
report, will be added to and more fiilly eluci- 
dated, while the knowledge, hitherto current of 
the geotectonic relations of these gigantic high- 
lands, will in many points be supplemented, in 
others corrected. 

The foundation for this description will be 
laid by the paleontological and petrographical 
collections, seciued during the course of the 
expedition. Of these the former are certainly 
tlie richest, that have ever been brought hither 
from this part of Central Asia, while the petro- 


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graphical ones are scarcely second to them in 
importance. By both, fresh light will be shed on 
the stratigraphical system of Central Asia. 

Until these rich materials have been examined 
and determined by competent experts, it would 
be rash to draw conclusions from the facts, recorded 
in this preliminary report and from other data, 
not incorporated therein. Only on one point my 
scientific conviction is already settled once for all — 
namely, that for the Tian-Shan also an ice age 
has to be accepted. Much, that in the present 
report could merely be suggested in support of 
this view, will be more fully developed in another 
to follow later, where overwhelming evidence will 
be adduced in favour of my assumption. Certainly, 
the last glacial period in the Tian-Shan, which for 
the present can alone be spoken of as clearly 
established, may have taken a different course from 
those of Europe, in accordance with the particular 
phenomena, preceding the close of the ice age in 
Central Asia, above all as regards the distribution 
of land and water and other specially Central 
Asiatic conditions. But as to whether, as in other 
highland regions, here also several glacial periods 
succeeded each other a final decision will not be 
possible until the observed facts have been sub- 
mitted to a more sifting scrutiny. The objection 
might even now be raised to my assumption, that 
in the broad tracts stretching along the foot of 
the Central Asiatic highlands, no traces are dis- 
coverable of a former ice-cap — such as are found 
in such abundance in Europe and America. I 

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should therefidre Uke at <mce to point out, that in 
regions^ where abrasion, destruction and the removal 
of their products have operated to such an 
extniocdinary extait as hoe, and where, moreover, 
owing to the most violent thermal contrasts and 
other climatic influaices, which cannot here be 
further dwelt upon, tlie demolition and removal 
of the original surface and its redistribution have 
so far adMmced, traces of glaciation naturally 
caniK>t have been preserved to the same extent 
as in Europe and America. Nevertheless, they 
are by no means lacking, as I shall show by the 
coincklcnce of my own obser\^tions. And as 
sucli e\*idcnce has not hitherto been seriously 
sought after by any one, it is reasonable to 
suppose that it will yet be found, both in far 
greater abundance and spread over a much 
wider area. 

During this expedition photc^raphy was placed 
at the service of exploration to quite a pre- 
eminent extent, in order as feur as possible to 
secure pictorial evidence and demonstration of the 
facts observed. 

Our operations were conducted with three 
cameras of different construction and dimensions, 
as well as with different plates, adapted to the 
varying conditions. Profitable use was made of 
the telephotographic process, which, aided by the 
most recent appliances, gave excellent results, and 
must be regarded as an indispensable aid to 
travellers in highland regions of difficult access. 
During the expedition over two thousand photo- 

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graphs were taken, whose reproduction will reveal 
a hitherto unknown highland world. 

Less rich than the paleontological is the botanical 
collection, to the gathering of which a systematic 
method could not be applied. It was carried out 
only to such an extent, as time and our resources 
permitted consistently with the work, that had to 
be devoted to the other matters of primary im- 
portance, included in our programme. In mountain 
expeditions, which in any case make such severe 
claims on the traveller's time and strength, in 
which the state of the weather also is frequently 
most adverse and, owing to the constant hurry, 
required to secure objects very difficult of attain- 
ment, the most promising localities can often be 
exploited only in a very cursory way, or even 
not at all ; here, at most, only a little of the flora 
can be snatched up in all haste and any hope of 
systematic botanising must, from the first, be given 
up. Nevertheless, even the botanic collection is 
not unimportant and contains, besides numerous 
specimens of the upland flora, a somewhat rich 
assortment of the early spring flora of the South 
Tian-Shan steppes and deserts. 

Still less favourable were the conditions for 
gathering zoological collections, during a mountain 
expedition, whose aims were directed to quite 
another domain. StiU, we did not altogether 
neglect this branch of science. The specimens 
collected are numerous, and many of them of 
high interest. 

During the whole expedition, records were taken 

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twice a day of atmospheric pressure, tempentaie» 
and humidity, the barometric pressure being tak«i 
simuitauieou2Jy with three aneroids^ whose con- 
ditiua was compared at intervals of oas or two 
da>'s with the boiling-point thomometar. For 
detenuining the temperature relations of the 
atmosphere, maximum and minimum thermometers 
were employed. Moreover, obsavatiotus were taken 
of insolation* wind-pressure and cloud-formatioii, 
us fiur as possible* These observaticwis, when all 
are worked out, will thus {«esent a clear picture 
of the climatic relations in the regi<»is tr a v e rsed 
by us« and at the same time furnish the carto- 
graphers with the necessary data for fixing several 
hundred points. 

For whatever results may have beoi secured in 
the dirticult regions trav»sed by the expedition, 
1 am» to quite an exertional degree, indelAed to 
the fiivour and support received firom the directMS 
of the Imperial Rusaan Geogn^>hical Society. 
1 therefore here tender my reqiectfiil tihanks to 
the illustrious first presidoit of this association, 
which has rendered such signal services to the 
work of exploration in Central Asia, His Impoial 
Highness the Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich, 
who showed such great sympathy and encourage- 
ment towards my expedition. My most sincere 
thanks are also offered to the acting-presidait 
of the same corporaticm, the distinguished first 
explorer of the Tian-Shan, His ExceUaicy P. P. 
Semenoff, for his excellent advice, and for the 
official pas^qport (AtkrytySst) of the society, as 

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well as for special pennissions on behalf of the 
expedition, procured from the highest Imperial 
Russian officials. My warmest acknowledgments 
are likewise due to the chief secretary of the 
society, Professor Grigorieff, for placing at my 
disposal the rich and valuable Russian literature on 
the Tian-Shan and for many other friendly 

My undertaking also enjoyed the special good- 
will of His Excellency Lieutenant-General N. I. 
Ivanoff, shown by assigning me a Kossack escort, 
by instructing the officials under his jurisdiction 
to lend me every assistance, and by many other 
favours, for all of which I here tender him my 
liveliest thanks. I feel specially grateful to General 
von Stubendorf, head of the topographic section 
of the General Staff, who kindly provided me with 
the necessary maps ; to Mr. N. F. Petrovsky, 
Imperial Russian Consul-General in Kashgar, for 
the ftirtherance of my undertaking in divers and 
sundry ways ; to the district magistrate in Osh, 
Colonel Saizeff, for his zealous and kindly co- 
operation; to His Excellency Herr Giers, late 
Russian envoy in Munich, for procuring the intro- 
duction of my equipment into Russia duty-free. 
If I was successful in my photographic opera- 
tions, I am much indebted for this to my friend, 
Cavaliere Vittorio Sella of Biella, who not only 
placed his incomparable experience at my disposal, 
providing me with his excellent advice before I 
started, but also took upon himself the enormous 
labour of working^ out my great collection of 

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negfttives. For this most unselfish labour I here 
tender him my heartiest thanks. I feel indebted 
to many other persons, without whose help it 
would have been impossible, to overcome the 
incidental difficulties of the undertaking, who, 
without being actually named, may here accept 
the assurance of my lasting gratitude. 

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The accompanying map, as may be seen from 
its title, does not profess to give a complete and 
accurate representation of the physical features of 
the Central Tian-Shan. In order to enable the 
reader to follow the course of the Expedition, a 
sketch-map had to be provided before the surveys 
and observations of positions and heights, made 
during our travels, could all be worked out and 
embodied in a complete map, which, on account 
of the great extent of the region traversed and 
the quantity of topographical details collected, 
will need a good deal of time to elaborate. How- 
ever, the principal geographical results of the 
Expedition have been incorporated in the sketch- 
map, though only in a provisional fashion, and the 
most cursory comparison with any of the hitherto 
published maps wiU reveal essential differences in 
the main features of the Tian-Shan. 

As many hundreds of barometrical observations 
of altitude, made during the Expedition, have yet 
to be accurately collated, the figures relative to 
these points could be inserted only in round 
numbers, which do not claim to be absolutely 
correct At most the relative heights, as compared 

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with one another, may be accepted as Mrlj 
accurate. On such a small scale it was impossible 
to insert all the places, passes, etc., or the names 
of all the rivers and streams, without impairing 
the clearness of the map, in which only those 
places will be found, which were visited by the 
Expedition or lay near its route. Those glaciers, 
which were crossed and surveyed by the Expedition, 
are all delineated ; of the remainder, only those 
that could be well seen from our route are inserted* 
Thus, the glaciers of the Naryn district, and those 
of the extensive region, drained by the great river- 
systems of the Agiass and the Eok-su, are not 
represented, although the higher portions of the 
Agiass and Kok-su groups are covered with a 
continuous mantle of nev^, from which large 
primary glaciers descend to the valleys. The 
hydrographic system, as shown in this map, may, 
in spite of its somewhat cursory rendering, be taken 
as tolerably accurate. 

As regards the spelling of names, I have not 
attempted a fastidious rendering, by means of 
unfamiliar letters or signs, of intermediate soimds, 
not known to the English language, such as Tien- 
Shan, in lieu of Tian-Shan, since such subtilties 
can only interest the linguist or etymologist. It 
has been my aim to give the simplest possible 
phonetic equivalents of the names of places in the 
Tian-Shan, most of them of Turkish origin, but 
I am well aware that, in the hurry of preparation, 
some inconsistencies may have, here and there, 
occurred. Having been at the greatest pains to 

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ascertain the true, current names of localities, and 
having visited most of them repeatedly and 
thoroughly, I think my nomenclature has a claim 
to authority. 

Places marked with O are not always villages, 
but in many cases pasturages, which are regularly 
visited, at certain seasons, by the Kirghiz herdsmen. 
The sign h stands for places, where the Chinese 
government maintains military posts. The routes 
followed by the Expedition are denoted by red 
lines. Further details were precluded by the 
small scale of the map. 

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Almassy, Dr Q. von, suggeatlon 
"^.^y, as to tbe watora of the 

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Abdul-kia or Alep-turga, 115 
Achailo pass, 218 

— torrent, the, 217 
Achik-tash valley, the, 62 
Adyr-tyr glacier, the, peaks to 

the soath of, 41 

— valley, the, 60, 62, 189 ; wealth 
of glaciers and mountains in, 
60 ; geological formation of, 61 ; 
and vide Moshketoflf glacier 

Agiass river, the, 88 

— valley, the, 273 
Aire river, the, 144 
Aiktyk valley, 112 
Ak-bel plateau, the, 177 

— valley, the, glacier pass in, 168 
Ak-chiu, Herr Keidel collects 

fossil plants at, 109 
Ak-kia, 116 
Ak-kul lake and river, 257, 258 

— valley, expansion at the mouth 
of the, 23 

Ak-shiriak chain of mountains, 

the, 177, 178 
Ak-su, town, 102, 126, 137 

— river and valley, the, 150, 157, 

Ak-tala, 119 
Ak-topa valley, the, 94 
Alagyr valley, 135 
Alai-aigyr valley, moraine at the 

mouth of, 23, 27, 249 
Alexander mountains, excursion 

of Herren Pf ann and Keidel to, 8 

Almassy, Dr. G. von, suggestion 
by, as to the waters of the 
Sary-jass, 240 

Alpine lakes, a visit to some, 

Altyn-Artysh villages, 103, 105, 
112 ; destruction of, by earth- 
quakes, 103 

Angara series, fossil plants of 
the, 109 

Apatalkan pass and valley, the, 

Argu basin, the, terraces in, 105 

Arkogak basin, the, the bed of 

— lake, 105 

"Artysh strata, the," 103, 104; 

seismic movement in, 104; 

villages, 104 
Ashu-tyr pass, 38 

— valley, the, 26, 36, 38, 260; 
view of Khan-Tengri from near 
the mouth of, 26 ; length of, 36 

Ayak-Sugun, 108 

Bai, town, 126, 127, 128 
Balter-Tailak valley, 167, 168 
Bash-chakma, 124 
Bash-kara-bulak valley, the, 

forms of a vanished glacial 

epoch in, 13 
Bai^-ogly-tagh cluun, the, 10, 12 
Bash-Sugun pastures, the, 106; 

fossils found in, 107 ; a second 


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excursion to, 109; carboni- 
ferous Permian deposits in, 
110, 112 
Bayumkol glaciers, the, 2*7, 28, 
33, 34, 80, 245 ; the formation of, 
80 ; the eastern glacier, 250 

— pass, 80, 187 

— yalley, the, 19-36 ; the mouth 
of, 22, 24; geological profile 
of, 25, 26; crystalline rocks 
in, 26; the middle course of 
the valley, 27 ; climatic condi- 
tions, 29, 30; glacier region 
of , 33, 34 ; bad weather in, 35 ; 
a second visit to, 79 ; the ridge 
between the Bayumkol and 
Karakol valleys, 81 ; a third 
visit to, 245 ; the middle valley, 

Bedel pass, the, 118, 159, 166, 
173 ; information on the route 
through, 170 

— river, 174 et seg, 

— valley, the, 144, 171, 173; 
blue-green slates in the lime- 
stones in, 171 

Bogdanovich, M., 107 ; forma- 
tions named by him, 97; his 
views on the geolo^cal posi- 
tion of the "Artysh strata," 
104 ; fossils found by him, 104, 

Bom-khotan,'geological formation 
near, 133 

Borkoldai chain, the, 176; the 
crystalline zone in, 161 

" Bos-aidyr chain," the, 113, 116, 

Bos-tagh range, the, 138, 149, 

Botanic collection, the, made by 
the expedition, 279 

Bulung-turuk, 122 

Buraty valley, the, 256 

Busai-tash pass, the, 132 

" Cathkkink Peak," 176 
Chadan-Ta, 101 

Chagash-gumbes, the Aul of, 116 
Chakh-chi, 127 
Chakmak, Takub Beg's fortified 

post at, 105 
Chalkody-su valley, the, 13 
Chalmaty valley, the, 173 
Chandar Aul, the, 147 
Chapta-khanne, 135 
Chatyr-kul lake, 179 
Chiran-toka valley, the, 98 
Cholok-su valley, 135 
Chon-jar valley, the, 166 
Chorlok river, Uie, 147 
Chul-Tau, the, 101, 127 
Climate in the Central Tian-Shan 

region, records taken of, 29, 30, 


Dabvasse-su valley, the, 168 
D^hy, M. von, help afiTorded 

by, 4 ; hospitality of, 6 
Denge-davan pass, the, 123 
Dondukol river, the, 83, 85 
— valley, the, 15, 247, 252, 263- 

271 ; glaciers in, 268 
Dungaretme pass, the, 169 

Eabthquake, a severe, 71, 161 

Fbiedrichsen, Dr., 8, 37, 38 

Gess valley, the, 109 
Giers, Herr, 281 

Grigorieff, Professor, help af- 
forded by, 2, 281 

Hedin, Sven, 114, 120, 121, 146 

loNATiBFF, L W., expedition of, 
to the glaciers of the Central 
Tian-Shan, 3, 80 ; name given 
by him to the Karakol valley, 

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37 ; his esdmate of the extent 
of the Semenoff glacier, 43 ; 
of the Inylchek glacier, €7 ; of 
the Mnshketoff glacier, 189; 
his notes on the geology of the 
Great Moaart ronte, 8S 

lii plain, the, 275 

Bovaisky, Brof., help rendered 
by, 7 

Inylchek glacier, the, 41, 00-75, 
182, 193 ; extent of, 07 ; atti- 
tude of, at its lower end, 72 ; 
the chsdn skirting it, 41, 52, 
00» 202, 205 ; exploration of, 
190-206 ; its total length, 210 

— river, the, 67, 236 

— valley, the, 194; the sonth 
border range of, 41, 52, 60, 205 ; 
the monntain chain on the 
north dide of, 04 ; dry atmos- 
phere of, 09; description of, 
08-70, 241-243 ; dimatic pecu- 
liarities of, 75 ; a superb 
range between it and the 
Kayndy valley, 218 

lonoff, lieutenant-Gteneral, 8 
Ishigart-Tau, the, 143, 174^ 238 
Ishtyk pass, the, 170, 180 
Ishtyk-su, the, 143, 174; the 

h^water region of, 178 
Issyk-kul lake, the, 8, 180, 182, 183 
Ivanoff, lieutenant^ en eral 
N. I., friendly reception ac- 
corded by, 7, 281 

Jai-tsvb, the Kirghiz settlement 

of, 114 
Jam-kuluk village, 129 
Jam-tama valley, the, 194 
Janart pass, 142 

— valley, the, 140, 141, 143^ 144 ; 
its richness in grass and forests, 

Jan-kasnak valley, the, 134 
Jin-jilga valley, the, 90 

Jiparlik glacier, the, 89 ; end of, 

90 ; its length, 91 
Jitim-Tau, the, 179 

Kaiche pass, the^ 159 

— valley, the, 136, 143, 144 
TC^JTiiiV^ 275 

Kaldy-Yailak phdn, the, 108 
Kali-agach valley, the, 128 
Eapkak pass, the, 76, 186, 244 

— river, the, 77 

— valley, the, 186 ; special 
features of, 77 

Kapsalyan river, the^ 128, 129 

— vall^, the, 129, 132 
Kapyl-Tau mountains, the, 12 
Kara-archa gorge, 230 et $eq. 
— pa8s,ihe, 227, 228, 229 

— torrent, the, 229 
Karabag plain, the, 134, 135 
Kararbel pass, the, 112, 228 

— valleys, the, 225 
Kaiarbulaic, 116 
Kara-bulung, 122 
ELara-bury pass, the, 152 
Kara-gat valley, the, 150 
Kara-jil, 113 

Kaiakol glacier, the northern, 38 ; 

coating of moraine debris over 

the southern, 136 
Kaxa-kol lake, the, 254 

— valley, the, 37, 173 
Kara-kul-say lake, the, 78, 260, 


— valley, the, 78, 200, 201 
Kara-say, the, headwater region 

of, 177, 178, 179 
Kara-turuk gorge, the^ 121 
Karkara, ancient lake floor of, 10, 

Karmulde, 174 
Kasalai valley, the, 157 
Kash-bulak valley, the, 94 
Kashgar town, 102, 109, 111, 112 ; 

earthquakes in, 104 

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KABhgar-dirut TilWf » the, loess 

deposits in, 100 
Kaskkft-sa TmUey, Um, 42 
KMlikA-tyr psss, Um, 185 
KASDsk-SQ, riTor, 1S8, 134 
Ksolbara, A. W. tod, explorm- 
tions ol, 8 ; his notes on the 
topogn^ifaj of the Mossrt ps88» 
8S; his appredation of the 
significuice €i the Borkoklai 
chain, 176 
Kayndy glacier, the, 281, 8S8, 883 

— river, Um, 819, 880, 838 

— vafley, the, 73, 804, 805, 818, 
880, 888, 883, 836; sunrey of, 
836 ; ranges skirting, 880, 885, 
837 ; signification of name, 880 

Keidel, Herr Hans, 111, 180; 
joins the expedition, 4; his 
share in the report of the ex- 
pedition, 5; he starts from 
Munich, 6 ; makes an excursion 
to the Alexander mountains, 8 ; 
collects some fauna, 11, 158 ; 
investigates the tertiary forma- 
tion of the Tekes plain, 14; 
takes the geological profile of 
the Bayumkol valley, 85, 86 ; 
fossils discovered l^, 38 ; in- 
vestigates the geological struc- 
ture of the range surrounding 
the Saiy-jass, 48 ; his researches 
in the lower Inylchek valley, 73 ; 
collects specimens from the 
Musart valley, 98 ; his collect- 
ing seal, 108 ; his discoveries 
in the Tegermen basin, 106 ; 
investigates the loess deposits 
in the Kashgar-daria valley, 
109 ; fauna collected by him in 
the Ot-bashi-tagh region, 185 ; 
his attempt to penetrate the 
Kapsalyan valley, 138; carboni- 
ferous fauna found by him in 
the Kok-shaal valley, 148; 

Devonian fossils found by him, 
180 ; cofledB ftumain the Kok- 
jar vaDey, 185; triangulates 
above the Semenoff glacier, 
186; in the Kayndy v^ey, 
881 ; his description of the 
geological structure of the 
Central Tian-Shan, 876 

Kenem-begu valley, the, 83 

Kepek-chai vaUey, the, 131 

Kerege-tash pass, the, 181 

Ketmen-Tau heists, 11 

Khalyk-Tau, the, 88, 97, 181 ; first 
exploration of, 186 ; informa- 
tion of it doubtful, 187 ; ex- 
ploration of its valleys, 188-135 

Khamer-davan vall^, the, 186, 
869, 870, 871 

Khan-Tengri, the position of, 15, 
17, 58, 53, 58, 59, 67, 76, 185, 
193, 806-816 ; a ^impse of, 86, 
87, 40, 58, 74, 76, 198, 193, 194, 
196, 197, 196, 803 ; the snow- 
fields of, 40 ; the height of, 41, 
48, 185 ; the base of, 48 ; the 
summit of, 74, 809 ; a splendid 
view of, 80, 198, 194 ; the geo- 
logical formation of, 818 ; the 
possibility of climbing it, 214 

Khonokhai pass, the, 874 

— valley, the, 874 
Khurgo vaUey, the, 168 
Kirghiz tents, 11 

— Ala-Tau, vide Terskei- Ala-Tau 
Kish-talga, 135 

Koi-kaf gorge, the, 887, 831, 833 

— river, the, bed of, 836 

— valley, the, 149, 150, 167, 887, 

Kokbelys pass, the, 180, 167 
Kok-jar valley, the, geological 
exploration in, 185 ; the profile 
of, 240 ; the upper valley, 844 
*' Kok-kya range," the, 112, 135 
Kok-rum river, Uie, 168, 169 

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Kok-rum valley, the, 144, 169, 165, 
169, 172 

Kok-shaal valley, the, 115, 122, 
142, 169 ; traces of glacial action 
in, 117; aeolian corrosion in, 123 

Kok-shaal-Tau, the, 116-118 

Kok-su valley, the, 273 

Kok-tan range, the, northern 
slope of, 107 

Koneshar, 97, 136 

Konganishuk-Tangyll Aul, 123 

Kongul-jol valley, the, 62 

Koshe-bashe Aul, 123 

Kosh-karata valley, the, 144 

Eostner, Franz, 6, 111 

Krassnoff, A. M., expedition of, 
3 ; the name given by him to 
the Tys-ashu valley, 64; his 
report on the valleys between 
Bedel and Kum-aryk, 144; 
crosses the Bedel pass, 170 

Kuberganty, 185, 244 

Enchi oasis, the, 145, 158 

Enkurtuk oasis, the, 140, 158, 168 

— pass, 162, 164 

— valley, the, 144, 158-166 ; the 
entrance to, 159 ; narrow 
gorges in, 162 

Eulja, 275 

Eolu-Tau highlands, the, 62, 238 

Kum-aryk river, the, origin of, 

149, 150 ; source of, 157, 175 

— valley, the, 144-149, 160, 175, 
233, 234, 235, 238 

Kumbulung Aul, 124 

Kungeu-Tau heights, 10 


Kurumduk river, the, 106, 108 

— valley, the, 104 
Kusgun-ya valleys, the, 62, 73, 

Kutingy, 15 
Kuuluk-Tau heights, 10 
Eyssalik, 135 
Kysyl-gumbes, 118 

Eysyl-kut pass, the, l52 
Kysyl-tal valley, the, 135 

LiKHANOFF, J. L, 12 

Mai-bulak valley, 62 

Mai-tewe, 123 

Mansui^tagh, the, 152 

Maral-deer, 265 

Maralty valley, the, 15, 17, 252 

"Marble Wall," the, 28, 31, 33; 
its identity with Khan-Tengri, 
41 ; the nucleus of the main 
ramifications of the Central 
Tian-Shan system, 211 

Markesh-tagh, 116 

Masar-Takub, 128 

Maurer, Herr, 111 

Maydan-Gess valley, the, 104 

Mikhailovich, the Grand Duke 
Nicholas, help afforded by, 2 ; 
reception accorded by, 7 ; his 
name given to the "Marble 
Wall,'' 211, 245, 251, 263, 269, 
270 ; the author's indebtedness 
to, 280 

Moro-khotan valley, the, 94 

Mukur-mutu valleys, the, 14^ 15, 
247, 252, 262, 266 

Munkys valley, the, 143, 144 

Musart-daria, tiie, 135 

Musart pass, the, 32, 82, 88 

Musart rivers, the Great and 
Little, valleys of, 14, 15 ; valleys 
of the Great river, 263 

— valley, the, entrance to, 82, 84, 
269; length of, 85, 92; geo- 
logical features of, 92 ; glacia- 
tion of, 94 ; lateral valleys of, 
98; survey of, 270; entrance 
to the Little valley, 245, 246; 
exploration of, 245-253; view 
of the ranges skirting the Little 
valley, 256 
Mushketoff, J. W., researches of, 

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1 ; tertiftry in d Mcim found 
bjlum, 1^ 
MoahkeK^ ^tder, the, 41, 56» 
57, 60, 180> 193; the <^ttB 
skiituig it, 41, 58, 190» SOi ; 
mnrej of, 189-199 

— pMB, the, 57, 191 
Mara]yk, 189, 1S9 
Myn-dagyl-bakk ytlkj, the, 144, 

Myn-tyr Im8^ the, 840, 844 

— TmUiqr, the, 185 

Na&th river, 175, 178, 841 
Nvynkol, 18, IS, 14, 80, 79, 88, 
185, 186, 846, 973 

— pMB, tlie, 80 

— valley, the, 855 
Nura-nor lake, the, 854 

Ol-TATTIB oasis, the, 145, 146 
Okhotnichi, vide Narynkol 
Ot-hashi-tagh ridge, 184 

FiTBOFP glader, 177 

— peak, 138, 173; the position 
of, 143 

Petrorsky, M. N. F., help af- 
forded by, 118, 881 

Hann, Heir Hans, 193; joins 
the expedition, 3, 6; makes 
an excursion to the Alexander 
mountains, 8; surveys the 
Bayumkol valley, 89; detei^ 
mines heights of ranges in 
Central T^an-Shan, 48 ; his 
expedition on the Inylchek 
glacier, 73>75 ; completes his 
survey of the western glacier 
of the Bayumkol valley, 79; 
returns home, 103 ; his measure- 
ments of Khan-Tengri, 186 

Photography, the use of, on the 
expedition, 17, 88, 40, 58, 56, 
74, 119, 173, 177, 180, 186, 187, 
188, 189, 194, 303, 809, 883, 345, 

958 e< «I9m 968> 963, 809, 87S» 

I^evtnff; IL, 170 
Pokhrovakaym, 183 
Phdievalsk, 8, 188, 875 
Pkihevakki, IL, 170 

BOBBIL, Enjoins the expeditkxi, 
7 ; returns home, 108 

Sabavoht diain, the, 138, 145 

— i^er, the, 149, 151-157 ; ex- 
ploration of, 154; ascent o£, 
155 ; length of, 156 

— river, the, 149, 153 

— vaD^, the, 149, 158, 158; 
background of, 156 

Safar-bai Aul, 188, 173 
Saikal river, the, 854, and fnde 
Musart, Little 

— valley, the, 83, 845 «< seg. ; 
total length of, 858 

Saixeff, Oolonel, 881 
San-tash pass, tiie, 10 
Saposhnikoff, Prof ^ 8, 9 
Sart-jd pass, the, 185 
Sary-bel pass, the, 169 
Sary-jass river, the, 38, 39,40,43, 
44, 178, 186, 337, 338-841 

— valley, the, 9, 36-59, IS^eiieg. ; 
present conjfiguration of, 43; 
green prairies of, 61 ; waters 
of, 175, 178, 340, 841 ; the en- 
closing walls of, 839 ; breadth 
of, 341 

Sary-jass-Tau, the, 338 
Sary-jass-tuty, 13 
Sary-turuk Aul, 138 
Schubert, Herr,help afforded by,8 
Sella, Cavaliere Vittorio, help 

afforded by, 4, 881 
Semenoff, P. P., 1, 3, 117, 380 ; 

discovers the sigidficance of 

the glacial deposits in the 

Sary-jass valley, 43 

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■JA liwJX " ■ ■ ■ 




Semenoff glacier, the, 9 ; ezcnr- 
aions for the exploration of, 40, 
186-188; the extent of the 
evader, 43 ; the tcmgae of the 
glacier, 46; its breadth near 
the tongne, 47; its constancy, 
48 ; its resemblance to Euro- 
pean glaciers, 49 ; its length, 
60 ; a survey of, 186-188 

— pass, the, 50 

— peak, the, 53 
Serakh-su valley, the, 98 
Severzoff, N. A^ 1, 118 
Shaikhle Aul, 147, 148, 157 
Shateh pass, the, 875 
Shinne Aul, 181 
Shinne-davan pass, the, 181 
Sindan river, the, 144 
Slivkina, 183 

Smirnoff, M., help afforded by, 

Sogdan-Tan, the, 119, 181 
Booka pass, the, 180, 181 

— valley, the, 183 
Steinmann, Prof ^ 4 
Stoliczka, M., 104, 105, 107 
Stubendorf, lieutenant-General 

Von, 7, 881 
Sugun river, the, 107, 108 

— valley, the, 107 
Sugun-karaul, 106 
Sukhun, 130, 138 
Sumba lamasery, the, 873 
Sum-tash, 180 

Syrt plateau, the, 177 et seq.^ 818, 

Taoh-titmshuk, 108, 184 
Taldy-bulak, 10 
Taltan-su valley, the, 144 
Tamlok stream, the, 147 
Tangitar ravine, the, 105, 106 

— river, the, 106, 118 
Tanke-sai valley, the, 144, 168 
Tarim basin, the, 43, 139 

Tashkent, report written in, 4; 

a journey to, 7, 109, 875 
Tashmalik, 109 
Tas-tepe diff, 88 
Taushkan-daria, the, 189, 144, 

168, 169 
Tegermen basin, the, 106 

— lake, the, 105 

Tekes plain, the, 14, 80, 81, 88, 
846, 863, 873 ; tertiary forma- 
tion of, 14 

— river, the, 14, 80, 83 
Temurlik passes, the,crossing,874 
Terek river, 188 

— valley, the, 138, 133, 134, 158 
Terek-ty river, the, 839 
Terskei-Ala-Tau, the, 180, 181, 


" Three Valleys," the, 886 

Tian-Shan (Central), the, moun- 
tain chains of, 1, 19; higher 
r^ons of, 8 ; glaciers of , 3, 40 ; 
carbonaceous fossils in, 10; 
ice age of, 13, 88 ^ seq,, 34, 39 
et «eg., 43, 63 ff seq,, 81, 88, 86 
et $eq,, 94 et seq,, 117, 148, 149, 
150 et $eq., 174, 178 H seq,, 818, 
883, 886, 837, 846 et seq., 855, 
858 et seq,^ 864 et seq., 877 ; 
valleys of, 85; climate and 
snows, 89 et $eq,, 64et9eq,; ex- 
treme heights of, 31 ; the glacier 
ranges of, 40; the southern 
base of, 139 

Tilbichek valley, the, 188, 189, 

Togak Aul, 147 

Tograk-Tailak valley, the, 96, 98 


Topadavan range, the, structure 
of, 99 

ToBor pass, the, 181 

Toyrm valley* the, 103 ; Devonian 
fossils in, 104 

Tur plateau, the, 76 


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TfMite ««tt»9. the, tt OHm^^ ^«Bej, tke. 144 

•^a;«4«7«^lfl,U8, *WkilepMi»*tke,ie8 

Trrikw-fl^ vttOrf, tH 1S( Taocv^al ^Blky, tlie, 135 

Tft-koHMh vbH^, the, 134 
I'm, 1t1, Ifl Y^k'tMMk mm, the, 177-180 

r^kal mtr, the, t>» — ^dDey, the, vmOi ol, 179 

fVh-Maidak, ItO Telnb B« 106, 11€^ 154, 108, 

I'lh A«l>the,ref»a,g6rf<iy, lO 

— mtr, dw^ ftS, fl» TAfiB-Khemyii ^eder, the, 88 
I'd ihit T— , the, fl» Teap-Hknr, 100 
Uch-Tvln, lt&, 137, 130 ; irwwi ! Yf-jflg^ 134 

froni,13!i . Tar-kan-eij vrnDey, 360 

VhAj TftOer, the, 180 j Teehik-kiil bke, 960 

VwtflKtjr peOa, 17,36t ! Tntuh river, the, 178, 839 

— vtOcjr, the, l^ 347, 851, S&8, Tnlfufan dudn, the, 177 
837 I 

r tlmkk, 140, 144 ( Zoological collection of the ex- 

Ulnirrhy, 875 peditioo, the, 879 

fWMMl *y mamU, Wmmm A fte^ 14^ Imiw «M 

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3 9016 02706 5245 

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APR 9 1906 


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